Dialogue from ERASERHEAD, complimentary image from FRENZY. Does this make you feel festive, much? What an old Grinch I have become. Still, I did watch FRENZY this week with an amenable bunch of my students, thus welcoming the younger generation in to Hitchcock Year at the eleventh hour. So that’s something to look forward to on Wednesday.
Nabokov said, or I think Martin Amis said he did, that it’s impossible to read books, only to re-read them. Without the overall view that you get from finishing the text the first time, you can’t absorb most of what the author has placed before you. And Verlyn Klinkenborg, quoted by the Self-Styled Siren, make the opposite point: it’s impossible to re-read books, because when you re-experience a book you’re a different person from the last time you looked. As Heraclitus says, you can’t jump in the same river twice.
All of which wild quotation and quotation of quotation leads me to the fact that seeing FRENZY again was a very different experience, and I have a perhaps more tolerant or forgiving attitude to the movie, maybe based on the looong journey I’ve been on with Hitch this year. So that’s something I look forward to sharing with you.
While on the subject of Hitch, I must pause to mourn the passing of Robin Wood, one of the first English-language critics to give serious consideration to the Master as an artist, and while on that melancholy subject, a tip of the Shadowplay hat to Jennifer Jones and Dan O’Bannon, who have likewise departed this mortal coil for parts unknown.