Upcoming in Representations #123:

Jan von Brevern on resemblance in photography, Anders Engberg-Pedersen on military metaphor in Tristam Shandy, Laura Tunbridge on British reception of German-language song between the wars, Maia McAleavey on the plot of bigamous return in nineteenth-century fiction, and Eitan Bar-Yosef on Zionism and blackface.

Coming in August 2013.


Jeffrey Knapp,“’Throw That Junk!’ The Art of the Movie in Citizen Kane”

“But if Kane’s indiscriminate mixture of ‘the junk as well as the art’
lowers objets to the level of the mass-produced, it has the opposite effect
on the dime-store goods in his collection: it raises them to the level of the
objet. ‘Throw that junk,’ the sardonic butler commands, gesturing toward
the pile of trash with Rosebud in it, but the joke is on him: he could have
made a thousand dollars from that sled, if he had managed to differentiate
it from the hodgepodge around him. The sled was never junk to
Kane, of course, or rather, it was never merely junk: in the furnace of his imagination, where priceless art could substitute for bric-a-brac, a sled could
also substitute for priceless art.”

From Issue #122 (available here)


Kris Paulsen, “The Index and the Interface”

“There is always the possibility, if not the necessity, of doubting information one does not observe directly. If indices are signs that often come to their receivers at a spatial or temporal remove and, unlike icons and symbols, need contextual information to signify, how is it that they are able to inspire conviction on the part of their receivers? Moreover, if this is the case, why have theorists of photography associated them with certainty and proof? To answer this question, we will have to look a bit more closely at the means by which they signify.”

From Issue #122 (available here)


D. A. Miller, “Hitchcock’s Understyle: A Too-Close View of Rope”

“The story of the perfect crime, I said earlier, is the story of the perfect crime’s failure; let me now add that, normally, that failure doesn’t affect the story’s form. On the contrary, it is precisely the crime’s failure that allows the story form to display the superiority of its own contrivance. The character whose mandate is to make a mistake is caught in a duel with the author whose equally mandated prescience is always exploiting the mistake
to successful narrative effect. In this structurally unequal contest, the protagonist’s not quite-perfect crime proves the foil for the author’s infallible perfect-crime story.”

From Issue #121 (available here)