Figurations of Exile in Hitchcock and Nabokov

By Barbara Straumann

This booklet makes an incredible contribution to cultural research by way of commencing up the paintings of 2 canonical authors to problems with exile and migration. Barbara Straumann's shut interpreting of chosen motion pictures and literary texts makes a speciality of communicate, reminiscence, Lolita, the true lifetime of Sebastian Knight, Suspicion, North by means of Northwest and Shadow of a Doubt and explores the connections among language, mind's eye and exile. Invoking psychoanalysis because the crucial discourse of dislocation, the e-book not just makes use of strategies similar to 'screen memory', 'family romance', 'fantasy' and 'the uncanny' as hermeneutic foils, it additionally argues that, of their personal methods, the arch-parodists Hitchcock and Nabokov are remarkably in track with the photographs and tropes constructed through Freud.

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As pointed out previous, he concludes via paying narcissistic homage to his aesthetic discourse as ‘the purely immortality you and that i might percentage, my Lolita’ (LO: 309). by way of once again echoing the privileged signifier ‘Lolita’, which already opened his textual content, Humbert Humbert’s finishing epitomises how his language actually overwrites the opposite. As he enters his imaginary realm for solid, it's only as its flooring and vanishing element that we M1528 - STRAUMANN textual content. qxp:ANDY Q7 3/11/08 16:20 web page 113 ‘Aesthetic Bliss’ and Its Allegorical Displacement in Lolita 113 can insist – including Dolly Schiller – on a violently elided airplane of referentiality. Language to Infinity one other of Nabokov’s would-be artists, Hermann Karlovich in depression, plans to create his masterpiece by way of committing an ideal crime. His art is defective in numerous respects. It hinges at the resemblance among himself and his double, the tramp Felix, yet after his execution of the homicide, not anyone recognises him within the corpse of the killed ‘double’. additionally, the literary doubling of his homicide, which he intends to create within the type of a detective story to end up his genius, additionally fails. in reality, Hermann Karlovich’s mistake manifests itself not just in his deluded mis-recognition and within the self-sabotage of his plot while he overlooks an important clue and piece of proof, however it can also be highlighted by way of an authorial personality. whereas now not engaging within the diegesis yet time and again addressed via him, this authorial voice forces Hermann Karlovich to damage the symmetry of his textual content by means of including one other bankruptcy and, in so doing, triumphs over his inventive boundaries. Like melancholy, Lolita, too, explores ways that paintings can move awry – if the artist is deluded, if he forces his constrained (and proscribing) point of view onto the skin global. during this ultimate a part of the bankruptcy, i would like to show to the results which aesthetic language has in Lolita as a singular within which the narrative degrees will not be as in actual fact separated as in melancholy. How will we describe the relation among the writer and his first-person narrator of their joint valorisation of aesthetic language and mind's eye? As i've been arguing, Humbert Humbert’s exile is before everything end result of the his flight into language in addition to the blindness and violence with which he superimposes his mind's eye onto the opposite. If moral reputation ever happens on his half, it truly is certainly revoked in his ultimate (im)mortalisation of Lolita on the finish of the radical. although no longer as actually as Hermann Karlovich’s homicide of his double, he kills Dolores during the rhetoric of his paintings. The discrepancy at stake in his violent conflation of an imaginary determine with the presence of a true physique is either occluded and published in his textual content via a tropological circulate or allegorical displacement. Given the violence and blindness of his nymphet allegory, the query arises how the narrator and his aesthetic language are framed by way of the radical and its ‘aesthetic bliss’. To what measure are the consequences of his language self-consciously mirrored via the final poetics of Lolita?

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