Edited by Wisconsin Mark on 8/11/2015, 4:43 pm
Barr's book, by the way, must not be very well known, because it has no customer reviews at Amazon and only one at Amazon UK. But it is a GREAT film book, and along with Jack Sullivan's Hitchcock's Music, one of the most mind-expanding Hitchcock studies of recent years.
Ed Howard could claim a lineage for his attitude in the school of poetic criticism known as the New Criticism, associated with T.S. Eliot and John Crowe Ransom, which viewed poems as "self-contained, self-referential object[s]" and tried to analyze them without reference to historical, social, or biographical facts. Even though this approach might be a little more workable for short lyric poems than for narrative feature films, I always repudiated it as unnecessarily restrictive. The Yale English Department of the late 1970s swore by it, which is one reason why I switched my major to American Studies.