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Sherlock Holmes, un nouveau limier pour le XXIe siècle

 | 
Hélène Machinal
, 
Gilles Menegaldo
, 
Jean-Pierre Naugrette

Quatrième partie. Variations cinématographiques

Enacting Holmes: Performance and Impersonation in Fiction and Film

Laura Marcus

Texto completo

1In 1937, the Austrian film director Karl Hartl directed Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war (The Man who was Sherlock Holmes), a comedy, written in collaboration with the novelist Robert Stemmle, starring Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann, who were well known screen actors of the period. In the film, Albers and Rühmann play out of work private detectives, who decide to improve their fortunes by impersonating Holmes and Watson at the Brussels World Fair of 1910. The presiding comic spirit of the film is the figure of Arthur Conan Doyle who, residing in the hotel in which the private eyes come to stay, appears at various junctures in a state of high hilarity at their acting out of his own creations.

2The film, which itself produced a number of its own imitations, raises some key questions of performance and imitation, particularly in relation to “becoming Holmes”. This paper addresses these issues through a discussion of Hartl’s film. It also looks at the broader concern with the figure of Sherlock Holmes (and his sidekick Dr Watson) as productive of imitation, in relation to figures of speech, modes of thought and details of gesture and costume. Focusing on Holmes as master of disguise, it examines the ways in which Doyle’s representation of the figure of Holmes in acts of impersonation, and of his creation of a character instantly identifiable by a finite number of props (the hat, the cape, the pipe, the violin), produces not only the theatricalization of the Holmes figure but renders its reproduction endlessly repeatable.

3In the opening sequence to Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), the props or properties of “being Sherlock Holmes” are unpacked in sequence from a dispatch box: the photograph of Holmes and Watson; deerstalker; pipe; magnifying glass; handcuffs; stethoscope (this the property of Watson); the 221B house number plate; a musical score, the composition of Sherlock Holmes; a watch with a photograph of a woman’s face; a compass ring with the initials SH; a syringe; a snowstorm globe inside which is the head of Queen Victoria and finally, a dusty manuscript. From these pages will emerge the narrative we are about to see unfold, as there is a dissolve from the words on the page to the London streetscene and Baker Street. The box contains the manuscript, but the manuscript also holds everything inside itself and this is indeed represented as a secret story: one kept from the public for fifty years after Watson’s death, and indeed, we are told, one of a number of cases whose records he did not write up for public consumption. Some of the box’s contents are the artefacts which traditionally “compose” the identity of Sherlock Holmes: deerstalker, pipe, magnifying glass, others (in particular the photographs of the woman) are the properties of this specific film and story, which is and is not a Sherlock Holmes story. The musical score mediates between the generic and the constructed: it stands in for Holmes’s violin (a crucial property of the person, and one about which we are told in the first pages of A Study in Scarlet, when Watson first meets Holmes and they agree to room together) but it is also the keynote to the film—the score of the music which is played to accompany the credits, which was composed by Miklós Rózsa. This music is the signature tune of the film—the music of Holmes’s “private life”, dedicated to the woman in the photograph. (Ilse von…)

The Private life of Sherlock Holmes

4The internet has a number of amateur films of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street. The Museum, opened in 1990, is housed in a Georgian townhouse (in what was 239 Baker Street), which operated as a boarding-house from 1860-1930. It is now a house-museum of a very particular kind: there do not seem to be any others which are museums of characters rather than of their creators. Le Clos Lupin in Étretat, to take one closely related example, is the house-museum of the writer Maurice Leblanc, though there the conceit is that the unseen guide (whose voice is broadcast as visitors move through the house) is his detective Arsène Lupin. The Sherlock Holmes Museum contains none of Doyle’s own possessions—his daughter Jean Conan Doyle was hostile to the creation of the museum, which she would felt would reinforce the belief that Holmes had really existed. The “authenticity” of the artefacts inside the house relates only to their type and period (although there are anachronisms, such as a 1930s clock on a mantelpiece), and to the replication of objects described in the stories (such as the Persian slipper with tobacco in its toe).

Sherlock Holmes Museum

5The Museum and its artefacts connect to another curious dimension of Sherlockiana—the number of collectors who acquire not only printed materials but artefacts for their own Sherlock Holmes room, conceived as a sitting-room circa 1895. Here—as in the Museum and, indeed, in the film and TV settings of the stories—the rooms contain both generic Victorian furnishings and pictures and those Sherlockian “props” or “properties” gleaned from the pages of the stories.

6The desire to recreate the Baker Street rooms has a number of dimensions, the most obvious ones being nostalgia and the fashion for Victoriana—but there also more complex questions of the recreation of interiors in relation to fictional imaginings, and the kinds of world-making entailed in the reading process. We might also note the ways in which the relations between interior and exterior worlds, rooms and streets, open up the topic of the street and the city as fictional topoi and the staging of the nineteenth-century detective novel in the bourgeois intérieur. As Walter Benjamin wrote, in his One-Way Street:

  • 1 Benjamin Walter, Selected Writings, vol. 1, Cambridge, MA, 1996, p. 446.

The furniture style of the second half of the nineteenth century has received its only adequate description, and analysis, in a certain type of detective novel at the dynamic center of which stands the horror of apartments. The arrangement of the furniture is at the same time the site plan of deadly traps, and the suite of rooms prescribes the path of the fleeing victim1.

  • 2 Green Anna Katharine, The Leavenworth Case, London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1878, p. 21.
  • 3 Rabaté Jean-Michel, Given: 1° Art 2° Crime: Murder and Mass Culture, Eastbourne, Sussex University (...)

7One would be spoilt for choice for examples to illustrate Benjamin’s point, but we might turn to the detective novel to which he alludes, Anna Katherine Green’s The Leavenworth Case, published in 1878. A wealthy old man is discovered dead at his library table: the coroner asks the deceased’s secretary what was on the table and receives the answer: “The usual properties, sir, books, paper, a pen with the ink dried on it, besides the decanter and the wine-glass from which he drank the night before2.” These “properties” are indeed props in the theatricalized mise-en-scène; sometimes, as in the case, of the decanter and the wine-glass, they are also clues. As Jean-Michel Rabaté notes: “Murder is productive violence in so far as it appears inseparable from a certain set-up, a staging of details that add up to create a whole scene3.” The “props” or “properties” attest to the whole drama of property, the inheritance plots that almost invariably drive such fictions. The Baker Street rooms are not crime-scenes, of course, though they are also not entirely a refuge from crime, packed as they are with the scientific means of its investigation. What is at issue here is the question of props, properties and theatricalization, and of their relationship to the interior scene.

Disguise and Theatricality

8“A Scandal in Bohemia” was the first of the Holmes stories to be published in the Strand (the July 1891 issue), and the first story to be illustrated by Sidney Paget. At the beginning of the story, Dr Watson reports that he has recently married and is no longer sharing lodgings with Holmes. Returning to his home one night after seeing a patient, his way led him through Baker Street: “As I passed the well-remembered door… I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again, and to know how he was employing his extraordinary powers. His rooms were brilliantly lit, and even as I looked up, I saw his tall, spare figure pass twice in a dark silhouette against the blind.” This view of Holmes, and of the Baker-Street rooms (whose masculine environs Watson has exchanged for “the home-centred interests… of his own establishment”) from the outside anticipates the other “scene” which becomes the centre of the story’s plot—Watson’s view from the street into the adventuress Irene Adler’s sitting-room to which, Holmes, in disguise as a clergyman, and believed to be injured, has gained access:

  • 4 Conan Doyle Arthur, The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1981, p. 172.

I still observed the proceedings from my post by the window. The lamps had been lit, but the blinds had not been drawn, so that I could see Holmes as he lay upon the couch4. (172).

9These two scenes of looking from the outside into interior spaces are an integral part of the theatricality of the story.

  • 5 Ibid., p. 170.

10“A Scandal in Bohemia” contains four scenes of disguise: that of the masked King of Bohemia, the two disguises worn by Holmes (first as a “drunkenlooking groom” and then as “a simple-minded clergyman”), and that of Irene Adler, disguised as a “slim youth in an ulster”, who calls out to the disguised Holmes, “Good-night, Mr Sherlock Holmes”. (These four scenes of disguise were all illustrated by Paget). Watson writes of Holmes’s disguise as “an amiable and simple-minded Nonconformist clergyman”: “It was not merely that Holmes changed his costume. His expression, his manner, his very soul seemed to vary with every fresh part that he assumed. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoned, when he became a specialist in crime5.” We might note the focus throughout the Holmes’s stories on the dual nature of Sherlock Holmes—dreamer and man of action—as well as on his seeming powers of shape-changing, which links him, in more dangerous ways, with the silent disappearances into the night of figures such as Stevenson’s Mr Hyde or, indeed, Jack the Ripper. The final example of theatricality to note in “A Scandal in Bohemia” is Holmes’s orchestration of the fights and street-scenes outside Irene Adler’s villa: to Watson he states, “You, of course, saw that everyone in the street was an accomplice. They were all engaged for the evening.” The city street becomes Holmes’s stage (or, we might say, a proto-film-set).

Impersonation

11As suggested earlier, there is always an element of impersonation in the Holmes’ story: being Sherlock Holmes entails becoming Sherlock Holmes. It is this that has allowed for the endless proliferation of Holmes’s imitators and imitations. In Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1938), the youthful and exuberant musicologist Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) acts out a series of impersonations, taking on the persona of Sherlock Holmes and Will Hay, when he and the heroine, Iris (Margaret Lockwood), who plays Watson back to his Holmes, find themselves, as they search for the ‘vanished’ old lady Miss Froy, in a railway compartment filled with a magician and illusionist’s props, as if one form of theatricality continued to breed others.

The Lady Vanishes, 1938

The Man who was Sherlock Holmes

12The film of 1937 which is the focus of the rest of this chapter was preceded by a number of silent Holmes films in Germany. Viggo Larsen, who had worked for Nordisk in Denmark, moved to Germany in 1910 and launched a five-part series Arsène Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes, the first two based on Leblanc’s book. Another film, made by Vitascope in 1914 but without Larsen, Sherlock Holmes contra Dr. Mors, based on a long-running stage show featuring Ferdinand Bonn, broke with the usual conventions of Holmes iconography, as presented in a newspaper report, cited by Michael Ross in his useful account of the Holmes films:

  • 6 Ross Michael (dir.), Sherlock Holmes in Film und Fernsehen. Ein Handbuch, Cologne, Baskerville Büc (...)

[Bonn’s]... Sherlock Holmes differs even in externals from the familiar figure of the detective. Nothing slender and greyhound-like, lifelessly English. This is a stout, well-fed German detective, who also avoids the legendary pipe… Not the coolly investigating athlete of thought, but rather a drolly smiling, good-tempered but no less inventive secret policeman6.

13The second Vitascope Holmes film took a more traditional approach to Doyle’s most exemplary story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, though the five followups in the series diverged from the story. There was also a parody in 1915, The Flea of the Baskervilles. In the 1920s there seems to have been less enthusiasm in Germany for Holmes films, and the 1921 British version of The Hound of the Baskervilles was a flop. (One reviewer wrote that it was a pity that Americans had not produced the remake.) A German version of 1929, with a poster featuring the deerstalker hat, was also not successful, possibly because silent films were on the way out; this seems to have been the last silent Holmes film.

14In 1936-7 three Holmes films were produced in Germany, as part of a general surge in detective films. An article in the Kölnische Zeitung (28.7.37) suggested rather blandly that, in contrast to their more serious predecessors, films of this kind offered ‘a kind of romantic irony for metropolitans’. They were also however subordinated to the state’s propaganda policy, described by a Nazi official, Regierungsrat Alfred Klütz, who directed the Justiz-Pressestelle in Berlin, in a series of articles in the Film-Kurier (15-17.7. 37), as reported by Michael Ross.

15Klütz reported that immediately after the Nazis took power he had intervened in film production to prevent “dangerous distortions” and the “denigration... of the German justice system”, notably in the figure of “the clumsy police detective” upstaged and “enlightened” by Holmes or other amateurs. This taboo was lifted in late 1935, as part of Goebbels’ toleration, reinforced later in the War, of light entertainment production, and the three films emerged shortly afterwards. This wave ended almost as soon as it began, rationalised by Klütz with the claim that ‘the public was no longer interested’ in sensational crimes in exotic locations and wanted instead films closer to everyday life...

16The first film, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1936), was originally planned as a parody but made as a straight film loosely based on the story. Its four showings in Munich however included an invitation to the audiences to spot the actor who played Sherlock Holmes, who appeared in the cinema in various disguises: as a ticket seller or a spectator disguised in beard and wig; the prize was lottery tickets for the Nazi Winterhilfe charity. The second film, Sherlock Holmesthe Grey Lady, features an unconvincing imitation, despite the use of cape and pipe. Both feature flat caps.

17The third, The Man who was Sherlock Holmes, set around the 1910 World Fair in Brussels, is a more substantial (and much more successful) comedy, with the irony that the Holmes props (cape, pipe, violin case etc.) function to simulate the false identity, though the characters repeatedly deny that they are Holmes and Watson. Intertextual references include the fact that in the cast lists, though not in the film itself or the accompanying book, the criminals are named as “Madame Ganymard” and “Monsieur Lapin”. (Ganimard is of course the police inspector in the Arsène Lupin stories.)

The Man who was Sherlock Holmes

18The film begins with Morris Flint (Flynn in the book, written by the co-author of the screenplay Robert Stemmle, which came out at the same time as the film) and Mackie Mack McPherson stopping an express train, taking command and inspecting the passengers’passports. Two criminals take fright at the apparent sight of Holmes and Watson and flee the train; Flint and Mackie befriend two girls who had previously been targeted by the criminals and who leave the train at an intermediate station.

Morris Flint (Sherlock Holmes) and Mackie McPherson (Dr. Watson) meet the Berry sisters

19Flint and Mackie continue to Brussels and check in to a hotel, where the clerk immediately “recognises” him as Holmes, later informing Conan Doyle who is also in the hotel and laughs in astonishment. The criminals’ luggage is delivered to Flint and Mackie’s room, to the dismay of their superiors “Madame Ganymard” and “Monsieur Lapin”. Unpacking the huge trunks, the chambermaids are alarmed to discover skeleton keys and guns, but Flint and Mackie are able to convince the hotel detective (without actually saying so) that they really are Holmes and Watson.

20The police invite them to help solve a crime in which valuable stamps for an exhibition have been replaced by forgeries. Meanwhile Ganymard and Lapin break into their hotel room and discover the deception in the form of the empty violin case and a receipt for cape, cap, pipe and revolver made out to Mr Morris Flynn. They threaten to expose them if their money is not returned. Flint and Mackie, realising that the girls’ uncle is behind the crime, travel to his castle, solve the mystery of the forged banknotes in their trunk, evade the police and return to Brussels and to the criminals’ headquarters. Taken prisoner, they are rescued by the girls, who call the police, but they are arrested. The film ends with their trial.

21The book refers more substantially to the detective genre, with the train conductor reading a Sherlock Holmes story:

  • 7 Stemmle Robert A., Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war, Berlin, Eulenspiegel Verlag, 1996, p. 11-12.

He showed the train driver a magazine “The Strand”. “Sherlock Holmes”, read the driver, catching his breath. “The Hound of the Baskervilles!” “Ever read anything about him?”, asked the conductor, pointing to a head in an illustration next to the title. That was the face of the unknown man, with shag pipe, deerstalker and open overcoat collar...
“It’s him”, said the sleeping car conductor. “Sherlock Holmes?” The conductor nodded, and the train driver studied the title page more carefully, when suddenly behind their backs someone said loudly and clearly “It’s not me7”.

22In the film, the Strand story is ‘The Man with a Thousand Masks’, pointing up the themes of disguise and impersonation that run throughout the film.

23Flynn/Flint and Mackie reaffirm at their trial that they never claimed to be Holmes and Watson, while admitting that the disguise got them jobs “which the small private detective Morris Flynn and his office assistant Mackie MacPherson would never have secured” (p. 215). When Flynn asks who has suffered as a result of the deception, Conan Doyle, a larger-than-life figure who has appeared throughout the film laughing uproariously at the appearances of “Holmes” and “Watson”, comes forward to congratulate them for having given his creation, Sherlock Holmes, “for a short time life and a face” (p. 217): “The public was amazed. Some shook their heads. Most had thought of Sherlock Holmes as a living figure. The literary form had become reality for them” (p. 216).

24The film’s director, Karl Hartl, appears to have been a reluctant collaborator with the Nazi regime, returning to his native Vienna in 1938 to run Wien-Film, which made a number of entertainment films and as few propaganda films as possible. Elements of the film might even be seen to convey a discreetly ironical message. The Brussels police chief rants in a way which recalls Hitler, and an anonymous figure in the hotel corridor looks a little like Goebbels. The comic song by Hans Sommer which the heroes sing in the bath includes the phrase “from today the world is ours”, and the Watson character’s name Mackie recalls Brecht’s Threepenny Opera of 1928. Be that as it may, the film was approved by the censorship for over 14-year-olds, with the moderately favourable grade “artistically valuable”.

  • 8 The film has been re-released and a musical based on it was performed in Dresden in 2009.

25The theatre critic and director Karl Ruppel wrote in the Kölnische Zeitung that the film managed to be discreetly ironical without becoming a parody. As Ross points out, it is interesting to reflect on what is being parodied or ironized. It is not so much the figure of Sherlock Holmes, he suggests, as ‘the genre’ of detective fiction and in particular the tradition of earlier (silent) detective films. The expressionist scene with the hotel detective brandishing a revolver and the fight scene in the criminals’ junk shop, he suggests, are particularly significant here8.

26As a nice sequel to the court scene which ends The Man who was Sherlock Holmes, twenty years later the Conan Doyle estate sued the legal successor to UFA. The German Federal Court ruled that there was no violation of their rights in this parody, since the characters in no way resembled the Holmes and Watson figures in the novels and “merely simulated them [vorspiegelten] by taking on their external trappings [Aufmachung]”. Again, the pipe, coat, hat and violin case are central to the... case. West German TV was however not allowed until the 1970s to include the scenes featuring Conan Doyle when it showed the film.

27As Ross comments in his final remarks on the film, any further Holmes films in the old silent film genre would be an anti-climax and “condemned to failure”.

28Siegfried Kracauer notes, in From Caligari to Hitler, that there had been some attempts to imitate Holmes, notably from 1914 to 1926 by Ernst Reicher (“Stuart Webbs”), who included the props of cap and pipe. (Another was “Joe Deebs”, played by various actors from 1915 into the early 1920s; Dieb is of course the German word for thief). But whereas local versions of Holmes were produced in France and the US, in Germany he was always portrayed as English. Kracauer suggests, more speculatively:

  • 9 Kracauer Siegfried, From Caligari to Hitler. A Psychological History of the German Film, Princeton (...)

This may be explained by the dependence of the classic detective upon liberal democracy [values of rationality, independence, etc.]... Since the Germans had never developed a democratic regime, they were not in a position to engender a native version of Sherlock Holmes9.

  • 10 Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Sherlock Holmes and his Times. A Review of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Sho (...)
  • 11 Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Books of the Quarter”, The Criterion April 1929, p. 552-56.

29As for the underlying theme of people perceiving Sherlock Holmes as a real person, T. S. Eliot took a great interest in the Sherlockian societies, whose first rule was that members must behave at all times as if Holmes really existed. In his review in 1929 of The Complete Sherlock Holmes and of Anna Katherine Green’s The Leavenworth Case, Eliot wrote: “When we talk of him we inevitably fall into the fantasy of his existence10.” In a review of recent books he repeated this claim: “Even Holmes’s reality is a reality of its kind… Every writer owes something to Holmes… he is just as real to us as Falstaff or Wellers11.” G. K. Chesterton, author of the Father Brown stories, wrote in relation to the books on Holmes published up to the date of his essay (1935):

  • 12 Chesterton Gilbert Keith, “Sherlock Holmes the God”, G.K.’s Weekly (February 21, 1935), p. 403-404

The real inference is that Sherlock Holmes really existed and that Conan Doyle never existed. If posterity only reads these latter books, it will certainly suppose them to be serious. It will imagine that Sherlock Holmes was a man. But he was not: he was only a god12.

Bibliografía

Bibliography

Benjamin Walter, Selected Writings vol. 1, Cambridge, MA, 1996.

Chesterton Gilbert Keith, “Sherlock Holmes the God”, G.K.’s Weekly (February 21, 1935), p. 403-404.

Conan Doyle Arthur, The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1981.

Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Books of the Quarter.” The Criterion, April 1929, p. 552-556.

Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Sherlock Holmes and his Times. A review of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and The Leavenworth Case, by Anna Katharine Green”, in The Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot: The Critical Edition: Literature, Politics, Belief, 1927–1929, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015, p. 609-610.

Green Anna Katharine, The Leavenworth Case, London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1878.

Kracauer Siegfried, From Caligari to Hitler. A Psychological History of the German Film, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1947.

Rabaté Jean-Michel, Given: 1° Art 2° Crime: Murder and Mass Culture, Eastbourne, Sussex University Press, 2007.

Ross Michael (dir.), Sherlock Holmes in Film und Fernsehen. Ein Handbuch, Cologne, Baskerville Bücher, 2003.

Stemmle Robert A., Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war. Roman nach dem gleichamigen Film, München, Droemer Knaur, 1978.

Filmography

Hartl Karl, Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war, 1937.

Hitchcock Alfred, The Lady Vanishes, 1938.

Wilder Billy, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, 1970.

Notas

1 Benjamin Walter, Selected Writings, vol. 1, Cambridge, MA, 1996, p. 446.

2 Green Anna Katharine, The Leavenworth Case, London, Ward, Lock & Co., 1878, p. 21.

3 Rabaté Jean-Michel, Given: 1° Art 2° Crime: Murder and Mass Culture, Eastbourne, Sussex University Press, 2007, p. 80.

4 Conan Doyle Arthur, The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1981, p. 172.

5 Ibid., p. 170.

6 Ross Michael (dir.), Sherlock Holmes in Film und Fernsehen. Ein Handbuch, Cologne, Baskerville Bücher, 2003, p. 15.

7 Stemmle Robert A., Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war, Berlin, Eulenspiegel Verlag, 1996, p. 11-12.

8 The film has been re-released and a musical based on it was performed in Dresden in 2009.

9 Kracauer Siegfried, From Caligari to Hitler. A Psychological History of the German Film, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1947, p. 19-20.

10 Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Sherlock Holmes and his Times. A Review of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and The Leavenworth Case, by Anna Katharine Green”, in The Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot: The Critical Edition: Literature, Politics, Belief, 1927–1929, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015, p. 609-10.

11 Eliot Thomas Stearns, “Books of the Quarter”, The Criterion April 1929, p. 552-56.

12 Chesterton Gilbert Keith, “Sherlock Holmes the God”, G.K.’s Weekly (February 21, 1935), p. 403-404.

Índice de ilustraciones

Leyenda The Private life of Sherlock Holmes
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Leyenda Sherlock Holmes Museum
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Leyenda The Lady Vanishes, 1938
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Leyenda The Man who was Sherlock Holmes
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Leyenda Morris Flint (Sherlock Holmes) and Mackie McPherson (Dr. Watson) meet the Berry sisters
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Autor

Professeure de littérature anglaise et Fellow de New College, université d’Oxford. Elle a beaucoup publié sur la littérature et la culture du XIXe et du XXe siècles, en particulier sur la fiction de détection en littérature et au cinéma. Parmi ses publications : Auto/biographical Discourses : Theory, Criticism, Practice (1994), Virginia Woolf : Writers and their Work (1997/2004), The Tenth Muse : Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007 ; prix James Russell Lowell de la Modern Language Association, 2008), Dreams of Modernity : Psychoanalysis, Literature, Cinema (2014). Elle est co-éditrice de The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature (2004). Elle travaille actuellement sur une étude du concept de « rythme » à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle, à partir de plusieurs champs disciplinaires.

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