domingo, 4 de maio de 2014

“To train a citizen is to train a critic. The whole point of education is that it should give a man abstract and eternal standards, by which he can judge material and fugitive conditions.”

G.K. Chesterton: ‘All is Grist.’


“Hitchcock is a profoundly subversive conservative. The world of his films is split between a surface life of bourgeois ‘normality’ and the terrible under-life on whose repression its very existence depends. His central limitation as an artist is his inability to conceive of repressed, instinctual forces as other than evil: the affirmation of a Blake or a Lawrence, that belief in the potential ‘resurrection of the body’ crucial to any concept of liberation, is quite alien to him. The surface order must always be reimposed and reinforced, the ‘evil’ destroyed.

Yet the surface order is a drab, colourless, empty business, a sham. We are left, in each case, with a perfunctory reaffirmation of the bourgeois norm that cannot possibly satisfy anyone: hence the ‘bitter taste’ people often complain that Hitchcock’s films leave behind. Yet it is this failure of satisfaction that is the index of the films’ subversive power.”

Robin Wood: ‘Avoiding the Heart of Darkness’, Times Educational Supplement, 1976.

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