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Some Thoughts on Alfred Hitchcock and Vladimir Nabokov


1 See Francis Nevins' biography of Woolrich First You Dream, Then You Die, (The Mysterious Press, 1988), pp. 474-475 for his meditations on the affinity between Hitchcock and Woolrich. I mean no disrespect to Woolrich; although he and Hitchcock were both definitely "masters of suspense" in their own rights, I find little of his tortured, desperate characters in Hitchcock's films.

2 Alfred Appel, Jr., The Annotated Lolita (McGraw-Hill, 1970), pg., xv.

3 See William Rothman, Hitchcock, The Murderous Gaze (Harvard University Press, 1982) for a detailed treatment of Hitchcock's authorial voice.

4 See Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock/Truffaut (Simon and Schuster, 1967), especially pg. 203.

5 Andrew Field, VN: The Life and Art of Vladimir Nabokov (Crown Publishers, 1986), pp. 25- 26

6 Spoto gives a mention to the Hitchcock-Nabokov connection on pg. 508 of The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (Little, Brown & Co., 1983). The Nabakov quote is also from pg. 508.

7 Thomas Leitch, Find the Director and Other Hitchcock Games (University of Georgia Press, 1991), pg.10.

8 Appel, op. cit., pg. xix

9 Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire (G.P. Putnam & Sons, 1962), pg. 214 (Berkeley Books edition).

10 Andrew Field, op. cit., pg. 150.

11 Nabokov, op. cit, pg. 52

12 Leitch, op. cit., pg. 10

13 Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister (Time-Life Books, 1947), pp.216-217.

14 Spoto, op. cit., pp. 261-263

15 I have discussed this point with Ken Mogg, editor of the MacGuffin Film Journal. He thinks it is unlikely that this is an allusion to Number Seventeen, but instead is an attempt to show that the small town Fairvale police are undermanned and a few days behind the rest of the world (the actual date should be December 20). Since I have found no other reference to this allusion in the other critical literature on Psycho, I know that I am at risk of being criticized for over interpreting, but there is always that hope that someday someone will agree with me on this point.

16 Appel, op. cit., pg. lxiii.

17 Nabakov, Pale Fire, pg. 41 (Berkeley Books edition).

18 Mogg, The MacGuffin Film Journal, (Issue 10, August, 1993), pg. 5

19 Nabakov, op. cit., pg. 32

20 The article, "Why I Am Afraid of the Dark" was originally published in Arts: Lettres, Spectacles, number 777, June 1-7, 1960 and is reproduced in Sidney Gotleib's Hitchcock on Hitchcock (University of California Press, 1995), pp. 142-145.

21 Nabakov, op. cit., pg. 21

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