Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021808, Mon, 11 Jul 2011 20:43:44 -0300

Re: Red dogs
PS to Friedman "occasionally wondered whether the 'stuffed fox or coyote' Kinbote thinks he remembers from Shade's house is supposed to be this species." ... When I stop to wonder about "stuffed mammals," excepting museums, it's Hitchcock's "Psycho" that comes into my mind.

JM: My mistake about the general tag I used for the "stuffed animals." In Hitchcock's movie, Norman Bates specializes in stuffed birds, not mammals.
I checked through wiki and learned that in Psycho "the main title music, a tense, contrapuntal piece, sets the tone of impending violence, and returns three times on the soundtrack. Though nothing shocking occurs during the first 15-20 minutes of the film, the title music remains in the audience's mind, lending tension to these early scenes. Herrmann also maintains tension through the slower moments in the film through the use of ostinato...The effect was achieved, however, only with violins in a 'creeching, stabbing sound-motion of extraordinary viciousness.'...Besides the emotional impact, the Shower Scene cue ties the soundtrack to birds. The association of the Shower Scene music with birds also telegraphs to the audience that it is Norman, the stuffed-bird collector, who is the murderer rather than his mother."

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