Anthropodermic bibliopegy

by Chris Bertram on May 10, 2006

Did you know what it meant? “Neither did I”: .

Parallax View

by John Holbo on May 10, 2006

John & Belle is terribly amusing at the moment – check out our new comments policy, for example. I self-promote so shamelessly because I know many of you sincerely loved the ‘jake’ contributions to this thread – college squid, hepcat leftist sockhopper assumptions J. Edgar etc. etc. (Jim Henley devoted a short post to marvelling.) So you should know there is more to be had. Acephalous is having fun as well. We aren’t yet taking pre-orders for the CT brand “even Ezra Pound would have called you a bitch” Café Press thong underwear (with the delicate ‘Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made’ stitched in). PZ Myers is already banging the table for his college squid baby-t. Ah well. But the future is a long time, as they say. Perhaps the troll will straighten up, fly right – that is, in an away direction, and all will be well.

But all this is just to entertain you, by way of paying you back for answering a question. I’m writing a review of Zizek’s The Parallax View – which, weirdly, doesn’t discuss Pakula’s The Parallax View (see the top post on J&B). But the weird thing about this, seems to me, isn’t just that Zizek is a filmhound, so he should mention the film in a big book of this title – one containing a lot about film. The weird thing is that ‘the parallax view’ is a weird phrase because there’s no such thing as a parallax view. Parallax is a difference between two views – for example, the view through a camera viewer and the view through the lens, which then comes out as the picture you’ve taken. (See all the different things parallax can mean.) A difference between two views is not, itself, any view. The one thing that seems like it could be a ‘parallax view’ would be … healthy eyesight. The marksman with two eyes has better depth perception than the one-eyed marksman, to whom everything looks flat (like a carefully composed Pakula frame). I’m not sure what to make of this, but for starters I’m just asking: I’m not a photographer or astronomer, so maybe my premise is wrong? Does anyone ever use the phrase ‘parallax view’ except as the title of a book or film? If not, then it seems like Zizek naming his book after the film, then not discussing it, is some kind of clue, or joke.