Beyond cinema: Daphne du Maurier's intermedial experiments in "The Little Photographer" (1952)

Abstract : Among the short stories du Maurier wrote, ‘The Birds’ and ‘Don’t Look Now’ stand out. The first has famously been singled out by Alfred Hitchcock and the second by Nicolas Roeg for their respective film adaptations. The fate of these two short stories confirms Elizabeth Bowen’s statement according to which the short story, apart from being close to other literary genres, such as poetry and drama, developed alongside cinema. Although du Maurier has often been acclaimed as a peerless storyteller, critics have generally focused on these two short stories, especially ‘The Birds’, and almost entirely neglected the others. This article takes a close look at ‘The Little Photographer’ (1952) and explores its affinities with other art forms than cinema, namely, photography. Beyond the motif of photography and the visual qualities of the narrative, the mediating function of photography within the narrative will first be analysed. The manipulative skills of the photographer and the narrator will then be confronted and the dialogue between the art of photography and writing explored. Finally, du Maurier’s ability to work across media will be shown to reverberate on her perception and (re)definition of modernism.
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Christine Reynier. Beyond cinema: Daphne du Maurier's intermedial experiments in "The Little Photographer" (1952). Short Fiction in Theory & Practice, 2018, 8 (1-2), pp.89-97. ⟨10.1386/fict.8.1-2.89_1⟩. ⟨hal-02062432⟩

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