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Hitchcock's Cryptonymies v1: Volume 1. Secret Agents

Tom Cohen

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ISBN 10: 0816642060 / ISBN 13: 9780816642069
Published by Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2005
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Hitchcock's Cryptonymies v1: Volume 1. ...

Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

Edition: 1.

About this title


Tom Cohen’s radical exploration of Hitchcock’s cinema departs from conventional approaches―psychoanalytic, feminist, political―to emphasize the dense web of signatures and markings inscribed on and around his films. Aligning Hitchcock’s agenda with the philosophical and aesthetic writings of Nietzsche, Derrida, and Benjamin, Cohen's project dramatically recasts the history and meaning of cinema itself.This first volume of Hitchcock’s Cryptonymies provides a singularly close reading of films such as The Lady Vanishes, Spellbound, and North by Northwest, exposing the often imperceptible visual and aural puns, graphic elements, and cryptograms that traverse his entire body of work. Within Hitchcock’s cinema, Cohen argues, these "secret agents" have more than just decorative or symbolic significance; they also reflect, critique, and disrupt traditional cinematic practice, undermining ways of seeing inherited from the Enlightenment and prefiguring postmodern culture. From the recurrence of the eye motif and the frequency of names beginning with "Mar" to the role of memory and the director’s trademark cameos, Cohen offers an unprecedented guide to the entirety of Hitchcock’s labyrinthine signature system. At the same time, he liberates Hitchcock’s works from film history (modernist, auteurist), revealing them as unsettled events in the archaeology of contemporary global image culture.Tom Cohen is professor of American literary, critical, and cinematic studies at the University at Albany. He is the author of Anti-Mimesis: From Plato to Hitchcock and Ideology and Inscription: “Cultural Studies” after Benjamin, and coeditor of Material Events (Minnesota, 2000).


Cohen (American literary, critical, and cinematic studies; U. of Albany) uses the term "secret agents" not to refer to film characters involved in espionage, but as an allusion to "visual elements, graphic riddles, letteration, and cryptonomies" found in all of Alfred Hitchcock's films. In visual readings of the "signature systems" of The Lady Vani

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