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Partners in SuspenseCritical Essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock$
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Steven Rawle and K. J. Donnelly

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719095863

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719095863.001.0001

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A Lacanian take on Herrmann/Hitchcock

A Lacanian take on Herrmann/Hitchcock

(p.62) 5 A Lacanian take on Herrmann/Hitchcock
Partners in Suspense

Royal S. Brown

Manchester University Press

As the title of this chapter testifies, it takes a Lacanian approach to Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock. Drawing on Kristeva’s Lacanian pre-Symbolic notion of ‘the specular,’ Brown finds Herrmann’s music, not just his film work with Hitchcock, but also his concert and radio music, to demonstrate the full specular potential of the cinema. Drawing on Laura Mulvey’s theories, the chapter examines the way in which Herrmann’s deployment of the Hitchcock chord (as referenced above) in Vertigo and Psycho in particular, remove film’s Symbolic discursive attachments, in a manner similar to atonal or experimental music, and returns it to its specular potential.

Keywords:   Hitchcock, Herrmann, Lacanian, Hitchcock chord, Laura Mulvey, Kristeva, Specular, Pre-symbolic

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