Friday, January 26, 2018

Suppose it were Friday cxlviii: As we were looking

                     Or che in fondo un miraggio
                     di vapori vacilla e si disperde,
                     altro annunzia, tra gli alberi, la squilla
                     del picchio verde ..

There is a way of appreciating
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window,
which sees it as a classic ex-
ercise in his telling a story
about the world from a hero's
subjective "point of view."

It is. It happens, in a way
he unravelled completely -
some years later in Vertigo -
equally to tell a story to
him about himself, that the
director unveils to us only
slightly in advance: that he
is looking for someone he can
trust. Who knew, it would be
someone who could dissolve
his point of view and redeem
its narrative of voyeurism?

Who doesn't think of Montale,
writing poems at the same
time, who could just as eas-
ily have been imagining the
entrance of Omar Sharif in
David Lean's Lawrence of A-
rabia, every time there is
Grace Kelly, coming to see
the captive Jimmy Stewart?

With his imagery Hitchcock
showed change and prepared
its renewal, so much more
volatile than a gunshot by
a distant rider in Arabia,
that it keeps pace with a
revolution in the subject
of trust, continuing today.
I don't accuse him of not
wishing to go so far. It's
the reach of his eloquence.

                  Now that in the distance a mirage
                  of vapors shifts, dispels,
                  the green woodpecker's shrilling in the trees
                  announces something else.

Eugenio Montale
Collected Poems
  1920 - 1954
Jonathan Galassi
  translator and editor
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998©

Alfred Hitchcock
John Michael Hayes
Robert Burks
Rear Window
Paramount, 1954©

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