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The Hitchcock Murders

Peter Conrad
Date Published
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Alfred Hitchcock remains the most famous of film-makers. Why was he so successful in enticing us to share his fears and desires? Cultural critic Peter Conrad can date the start of his Hitchcock obsession to his first boyhood viewing of Hitchcock’s Psycho, one afternoon in Tasmania some forty years ago. The master’s grip upon his imagination has never slackened since. Now, Conrad explains how Hitchcock’s mastery of the mechanical art enabled him to unnerve us, shock us, in ways that no artist had previously managed. He shows how Hitchcock made the ordinary world seem fantastically fraught, and how his recurrent themes tapped our common fantasies. Thus Conrad proposes Hitchcock as ‘the greatest of the twentieth century’s surrealists, wickedly expert at erasing the border between actuality and our haunted, licentious dreams’.


Peter Conrad was born in Australia, and since 1973, has taught English at Christ Church, Oxford. He has written numerous works of criticism, including Imagining America, The Everyman History of English Literature, A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera, Modern Times, Modern Places: A Cultural History of the 20th Century and The Hitchcock Murders. He has also…

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