Perspectives fluctuantes, entre spéculations et ajustements : liaisons et déliaisons dans The House of Mirth de Terence Davies
Ever since Edith Wharton’s novel was published in 1905, its heroine has never stopped arousing “speculation” among the other characters and readers alike. As much as she is the object of all gazes and gossip within the narrative, the reader is led to share the multiple hypotheses which are put forward through the various perspectives the narrative adopts. Indeed, one of the main strengths of the novel lies in the way it multiplies shifts of viewpoints – and therefore of interpretations – from omniscient narrator to free indirect speech.This paper aims at analyzing how Terence Davies’s film negotiates the tension created between apparent narrative fluidity and the disruptions provoked by the fluctuating viewpoints. This tension is most visible through the outstanding work on shot breakdown and editing which articulates smooth transitions through graphic matches and dissolves on the one hand and elliptical disjunctions on the other. In so doing, Davies not only conveys the heroine’s propensity to lose herself in adopting others’ perspectives, it leads the viewer to constant readjustments of his/her vision and interpretation. Ultimately, Davies’s film fully exploits the potentialities of cinema’s double focalization to propose a dual vision which at the same time conveys a subjective flow of consciousness and a distant comment upon it.
The House of Mirth, Terence Davies, continuity/discontinuity, dissolve, editing, ellipses, point of view, readjustment, shifts of perspectives, speculation
Published : 2018-09-11