PRINT October 1973

“Anemic Cinema,” Reflections on an Emblematic Work

A little reflection was bound to show that it would be impossible to restrict to the provinces of dreams and nervous disorders a view such as this of the life of the human mind. If that view has hit upon a truth, it must apply equally to normal mental events, and even the highest achievements of the human spirit must bear a demonstrable relation to the factors found in pathology—to repression, to the efforts at mastering the unconscious and to the possibilities of satisfying the primitive instincts. There was thus an irresistible temptation and, indeed, a scientific duty, to apply the research methods of psychoanalysis, in regions far remote from its native soil, to the various mental sciences. And indeed psychoanalytic work upon patients pointed persistently in the direction of this new task, for it was obvious that the forms assumed by the different neuroses echoed the most highly admired productions of our culture. Thus hysterics are undoubtedly imaginative artists, even if they express their phantasies mimetically in the main and without considering their intelligibility to other people; the ceremonials and prohibitions of obsessional neurotics drive us to suppose that they have created a private religion of their own, and the delusions of paranoiacs have an unpalatable external similarity and internal kinship to the systems of our philosophers. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that these patients are, in an asocial fashion, making the very attempts at solving their conflicts and appeasing their pressing needs which, when they are carried out in a fashion that has binding force for the majority, go by the names of poetry, religion and philosophy.
—Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis and Religious Origins, 1919

ANEMIC CINEMA, THAT MOST singular of filmic objects, is, though made in 1926, somewhat of a terminal work, the last of Duchamp’s efforts to point in a significantly new direction. It has elicited surprisingly little comment from the official chroniclers, historians. and exegetes, and Duchamp himself spoke little of it, though he talked more of the circumstances of its making, the series of optical studies which surrounded it. I want to propose it as much more than singular, as illuminating, as emblematic of the entire range of painting, sculpture, games, and language games, of speculative and poetic ventures which compose that elaborate semiotic system we know as Duchamp’s lifework.

Duchamp spoke rarely of film in general, suggesting in that familiar, consistently deprecating manner of his, that movies would be either “amusing” or not be. In this he is, of course, unlike Breton, Picabia, and their crowd, who haunted the popular neighborhood movie houses of Paris and New York, passing in a trance of enthusiasm from one serial installment to another, from Feuillade to Pearl White, from Nosferatu to Potemkin. For Breton, as for Aragon, Desnos, Tzara, and Soupault, the film had been, in fact, a privileged medium eliciting from them, as indeed from the leaders of almost every major esthetic movement of the century, gestures of delighted appropriation.

Each fresh revision of esthetic and social values reached out in the early decades of the century, to claim film for its own, claiming, as it did so, an ontology of film inscribed within its aspirations, realized in its strategies. The radical innovations of Soviet montage in its heroic period of 1924–30, developing in the wake of Constructivism, were thus immediately and naturally acclaimed by the Surrealists. Potemkin, upon its release in Paris was greeted as the first truly Surrealist film. The dialectical synthesis embodied for Eisenstein in the hyperbolic montage of Potemkin and October, spoke to the Surrealists as a conjoining of disparate objects in the conception of a new reality. Montage was indeed a “copulative” process, as Eisenstein somewhat blushingly remarks, in his essay “The Cinematographic Principle And The Ideogram.” He said:

. . . the principle of montage can be identified as the basic element of Japanese representational culture. . . . The real interest begins with the second category of hieroglyphs, the huei-i—i.e., “copulative.” The point is that the copulation (perhaps we had better say, the combination) of two hieroglyphs of the simplest series is to be regarded not as their sum, but as their product, i.e., as a value of another dimension, another degree; each, separately, corresponds to an object, to a fact, and their combination corresponds to a concept. From separate hieroglyphs has been fused—the ideogram. By the combination of two “depictables” is achieved the representation of something that is graphically undepictable.1

In this text, Eisenstein, extending his notion of montage as embodying the dialectic, attempting to support it through transcultural and linguistic models, rediscovers, with a start of somewhat prudish surprise, the metaphor basic to Surrealist esthetics: that of artistic production as a mode of erotic encounter. If, for Eisenstein, “montage thinking is inseparable from thinking as a whole,” for the Surrealists, montage rendered the Encounter as primary process of consciousness. Hegel and Lautréamont, then, presided in holy alliance over the generative process of creative editing.

To all of this, Duchamp remained, as indeed one might expect, indifferent. The inventor of the great Agricultural Machine of the Large Glass was, in turning to film, concerned to fashion an entity embodying in as direct, powerful, and compressed a fashion as possible, those qualities of movement and ambiguity explored and deployed in his painting and objects. That Machine describes in its oscillating movement between upper and lower panels, between MARiée and CÉLibataires, an inner fissure of the Self; from it proceeds the iconography of ambiguity that utterly pervades Duchamp’s work and thought. Cinema was to epitomize, in its illusionist power, this oscillating movement in a deep and purely retinal space.

Duchamp had been consistently careful to dissociate his interest in movement from that of the Futurists, claiming with a particularly sharp and lonely insight, that they were primarily, “Impressionists of the City,” only marginally engaged in the task of reconciling movement and stasis. He had, in addition, in his very brief remarks on film said, “I don’t believe in cinema as a means of expression. It could be one—later, perhaps. But like photography, it doesn’t go much further than a mechanical way of making something. It can’t compete with art. If art continues to exist.” And speaking of Anemic Cinema, he says, “The movies amused me. Instead of turning the discs why not turn the film?”2 He then goes on to speak of the actual turning or cranking process of the camera (the undoubted origin of the french phrase for ”shooting a film": tourner un film), stressing a return to the use of the hand, as if interested in the subversion of the instrument’s mechanical aspect. Certainly, when one begins to look at Anemic Cinema, one begins to see inscribed in it, Duchamp’s disregard for many of the medium’s wide range of possibilities.

This seven-minute film consists of an anagrammatic title, followed by ten variant images of rotating spirals intercut with inscriptions. The spirals derive their forms from the vocabulary generated by the Demi-Sphère Rotative (Optique de Précision), 1925, and its preparatory studies. The ten images, rotating about a central axis, present, in their optical impulsion toward and from the spectator that shuttling, oscillating movement which animates Duchamp’s work, literally, visually, conceptually, in all its major instances. Alternating with the spirals is a series of texts, alliterative and pun-filled, appearing as the suggestion of intertitles in this silent film. These are white relief inscriptions, pasted on black cardboard disks and, like the images, organized in circular form on a surface which rotates in turn, so that one must strain a bit to read them as they proceed in a clockwise motion whose staccato quality contrasts with the serene undulation of the drawn spirals. One’s deciphering effort is compounded by one’s impulse to commence the reading at a spot not quite coincident with the first word of each phrase, as it is placed in superb disregard of generalized typographical conventions. Keeping pace with the disk’s circular motion then forces one, at almost every printed interval, to slightly adjust one’s reflex to these strenuous conditions of legibility. And the aggressively sexual intimation of thrust and recession generated by the images is confirmed by the obscene humor and partial obscurity of these punning intertitles, a succession of phrases both loaded and cryptic, models of double entendre. The film’s constant and multiple oscillation and rotation, between image and text, black and white, flatness and relief, movement and stasis, thrust and recession, between the poles of sexuality is, moreover, subtended by the general compositional strategy which solicits alternately a reading and a viewing, a seeing in or through illusionist depth and an apprehending on a plane surface—which is, of course, itself a projected illusion of surface. Anemic Cinema is, finally, signed by Rrose Sélavy and stamped with her Master’s fingerprints.

The film is pervaded, structured by, an ambiguity which is total—spatial and visual, verbal and conceptual. Its place in the Catalogue Raisonné immediately precedes that of 11, Rue Larrey, that construction (1927) which refutes the dictum that a door must be either open or closed. And both works are followed by long silence, broken only in 1932 by the composition, together with Halverstadt, of the treatise on chess L’Opposition Et Les Cases Conjuguées Sont Reconciliées (Opposition and Sister Squares Are Reconciled), which initiates that second half of Duchamp’s career in which speculation, games, the recasting of earlier work occupy the center of the stage, while the preparation of Etant Donnés, the synthetic, illusionist reification of earlier work proceeds in the wings. But we are getting a bit ahead of our story.


Duchamp’s preoccupation with movement in time had, of course, brought him to maturity in the great canvases of 1912. It also supported his celebrated impatience with easel painting, and it was as a logical consequence of that impatience that he came to film. He produced in 1918 two works which mark the definitive break with painting. The first, his last canvas is Tu m’. It is of special interest for students of cinema, and it is a painting explicitly discursive in nature, synthesizing in both its iconographical and formal aspects, Duchamp’s reflections on a medium he is about to abandon. It is, in fact, a valedictory address. The Green Box contains a preparatory note for this canvas (it had been commissioned for Katharine Dreier’s library) which specifies

Shadows cast by ready-mades. Shadow cast by 2,3,4, ready-mades brought together. Perhaps use an enlargement of that so as to derive from it a figure formed by an equal (length) (for example) taken in each ready-made and becoming by the projection a part of the cast shadow . . . Take these “becomings” and from them make a tracing without naturally changing their position in relation to each other in the original projection.3

And Robert Lebel, in discussing this work remarks that

Several photographs taken in the studio at 33 West 67th Street in 1917 testify to Duchamp’s interest in the shadows of his ready-mades silhouetted on the walls. He rubbed the full sized cast shadow of a bicycle wheel on Tu m’ in lead pencil, as well as those of a corkscrew and a hat-rack enlarged by a magic lantern. The three shadows, as if superimposed, dominate the light background of this canvas which is one of the most colorful Duchamp ever painted.4

This last canvas, then, joins painterly representation of objects with pictorial representation of shadows in projection upon a surface rent by a painted tear and closed by real safety pins. The picture plane is derogated even as it is affirmed, destroyed in representation, redefined by painted shadows as a surface for projection.

In To Be Looked At Through One Eye Close-Up For Almost An Hour, made that same year, the picture plane is, so to speak, suspended. In this work which so directly prepares us for the Large Glass, we look both at and through the surface, into the space beyond, perceiving in a sort of visual warp, through the magnifying glass attached to the surface, the space beyond it. In these gestures of adieu, Duchamp critically explores the notion of surface, naming conditions for the subversion of painterly illusionism as he passes to the incorporation of the space beyond the Large Glass, its animation framed by it as by a lens.

Duchamp is now free to extend and redefine the modalities and limits of illusionism through an intensification of optical concerns. For this task he will adopt another surface—the screen; another medium—light; another perceptual and compositional mode—temporality. He has been, in fact, engaged in an extraordinarily rapid and subtle recapitulation of three decades of history. By the time of cinema’s birth in 1895, the steady contraction of deep pictorial space had modified the claims of painterly illusionism, inflecting it toward a dominant opticality. It was the retrieval of deep space and of the “object” inhabiting it by the new temporal art that spoke so urgently to Duchamp’s Surrealist friends and colleagues, though not, of course, to them alone. Duchamp, defining the terms of illusionism in the complex paradoxes of his last two painted works had thereby exhausted them, and for him, as for everyone else, film promised to assume the burden of illusionism which as a dissident from Surrealist orthodoxy he no longer wished to impose upon painting. Working, unlike Buñuel or Dali, in the spirit of the “reconciliation of opposites,” he maintains that characteristic refusal of “either/or” situations which was, of course, to endear him to a generation of American artists maturing in the ’60s in reaction against the ethos of choice and risk enshrined in the sensibility of existentially inflected Abstract Expressionism. He chose to make his statement on the nature of cinematic illusionism in complete independence of the representational codes preserved in Surrealist film and painting. The purity and power of that statement, of Anemic Cinema, are contingent upon the rigorous dialectic of seeing and reading proposed by optical abstraction and print in movement.

The Bride’s great field of glass, incorporating painting, fabrication, projection, extended the spectator’s depth of field as its iconic complexity accommodated the movement of its surrounding space. For the inventor of the great Agricultural Machine, cinema became, in three years’ time, the new illusionist instrument, the plow that definitively broke the picture plane.

It is precisely as one becomes aware of this juncture that a space opens elsewhere, everywhere in Du-champ’s work, disclosing the field of the oscillating movement of meaning or intention, that begins to intensify and accelerate in the work. 11, Rue Larrey, the door simultaneously open and closed, renders that space, that oscillation most literally and most perfectly. They are, however, evident in the word play, and by 1921, in a play with sexual identity, in Man Ray’s photographs of Duchamp in drag, and used in the fabrication of the work known as Belle Haleine, eau de violette, the encased bottle of perfume bearing his new pseudonym in signature, Rrose Sélavy.

The Green Box acquaints us with the extent of Duchamp’s efforts at systematic subversion of language. The “spoonerisms” published by Rrose Sélavy in 1939, are added to the alternate grammars, alphabets, systems of perspective, of classification: schemes for the confounding of categories of identification and recognition are proposed, and the last utopian notation is the proposal for the society “in which the individual has to pay for the air he breathes (air meters); imprisonment and rarefied air, in case of nonpayment/simple asphyxiation if/necessary (cut off the air).” These games, schemes, projects involving subversion of language and logical categories betray the deep and seminal influence of Raymond Roussel, whose methods of work, epitomized in Locus Solus, are described in “How I Wrote Certain Of My Works.” Choosing a phrase of potential ambiguity, he would initiate his novel with its first meaning, using the second as the final sentence. It was the space that opened between the two senses of the given phrase which was the scene of the narrative. Into the vacuum created by a verbal fissure crowded the fantastic scenes and events, the exotic places, prisons, human machines, and mechanized beings of Roussel’s iconography. That fissure forced open within image and word had mightily impressed Duchamp, who had adapted in Lits et Ratures, 1922, the Rousselian idea of a grammatical rule in which “the verb agrees with the subject in consonance—as in le nègre aigrit, les nègresses s’aigrissent, on naigrissait,” etc. And we find the echoes of that strategy in the celebrated alliterative titles of Anemic Cinema.


Embarking, then, upon the description and account of a filmic object, one is rapidly led beyond the limits of description—beyond the limits of this very “retinal film,” to acknowledge that there is a sense in which Duchamp’s final victory is to make exegetes and iconographers of all those who approach his work. To study this seven-minute film, mostly neglected in the major accounts of art and film history, is to confront the quasi-totality of a lifework and the dialectic of its evolution. Returning, for a moment, to the object at hand, one finds again the overwhelming illusionist power of circulating movement within a deep space. Anemic Cinema is a sort of visual machine made by a man who proclaimed his desire to rid painting of its sensuality and personality. His efforts revolved for a decade about the construction of a complex esthetic machine, whose fissured panels, articulated through complex representation of objects and submachines designed for cyclical motion were (as in the case of the Chocolate Grinder’s round, revolving drumlike forms in all its successive versions) in turn variants of previous plans and designs. Turning to the texts offered in elucidation of that sustained and infinitely complex effort, one finds that they conceal almost as much as they reveal.

Seeking to understand this one small work, we must, respecting Duchamp’s own expressed belief, realize that we are confronted with a lifework which constitutes, to a degree rare in any time and particularly so in ours, a total semiotic system. To enter upon an understanding of a part of that work one must seek to apprehend the system of relationships which compose the whole. This is undoubtedly the source of the power and mystery which so stubbornly resist iconographic interpretation and the niceties of formal analysis. Their understanding requires the general structural grasp of the relations obtaining between parts, between language games and optical concerns, between verbal ambiguities and spatial strategies; modes and forms of play, construction, conceptualization, projection, role definition, innovations and retrogressions must be grasped in structural interrelationship. Looking for a model which may help us to grasp the nature of that structure, we find it, I believe, in the quite extraordinary lifework of an autistic child. That particular child’s name was Joey and he lived for some years in the Orthogenic School of Chicago. His celebrated case history has been recounted by Bruno Bettelheim and I shall, in what follows, draw heavily upon that account, published in The Empty Fortress.5

Joey, we are told, at some time very early in his childhood, began to feel so threatened that he could no longer afford to live in the human community, and had transformed himself into a machine.

He did not move arms or legs, but had extensors, that were shifted by gears. He was a machine, the wheels busily cranking and turning, and as such held us rapt, whether we liked it or not. His was not a reduced human existence, nor an animal-like one. He was “real” all right, but his reality was that of machines. During Joey’s first weeks with us, we watched absorbedly, for example, as he entered the dining room. Laying down an imaginary wire, he connected himself with his source of electrical energy. Then he strung the wire from an imaginary outlet to the dining room table to insulate himself, and then plugged himself in. These imaginary electrical connections he had to establish before he could eat, because only the current ran his ingestive apparatus. He performed the ritual with such skill that one had to look twice to be sure there was neither wire nor outlet or plug. His pantomime was so skilled, and his concentration so contagious, that those who watched h)m seemed to suspend their own existence, and become observers of another reality. Everyone took care not to step on Joey’s imaginary wires, lest they interrupt the current and stop his being.

Joey had invented a complex apparatus which he had fixed to his bed, making it a car machine that would run him (or “live him”) while he slept. This breathing machine he ingeniously created out of masking tape, cardboard, pieces of wire and other odds and ends. Usually our maids, as they clean, will pick up such things and put them on a table for the children to find. But to Joey’s machine, they carefully restored parts that had fallen because Joey had to have his carburetor to breathe. It was a car-machine that powered him, and a carburetor that enabled him to breathe. In the same way they would carefully preserve for him the exhaust pipes through which he exhaled, or the motors that ran his digestion. . . . “Move over,” children would say. “Can’t you see you’re pushing Joey’s transistor” And they made way for a transistor Joey had fashioned out of empty space.

The first signs of autism were retrospectively to be seen in his extremely remote behaviour, as a child of one and a half, and his absorption in machinery, most of all with an electric fan that his father gave him at age one. This he could take apart and put together again with surprising deftness. The bizarreness of the toy and of such a focus of interest failed to startle the parents for years to come, as did the more obvious danger sign that Joey’s speech—like that of autistic children—was directed only to himself. Step by step Joey’s language became abstract, depersonalised, detached. He lost the ability to use personal pronouns, correctly, and he tended to abstraction; while at first he named foods correctly, calling them butter, sugar, water and so forth, he later gave this up. Instead he subsumed particular foods into new groupings, but in doing so deprived them of their nutritive character. He then called sugar sand, butter grease, water liquid, and so on. Far from not knowing how to use language correctly, there is a spontaneous decision to create a language that will match how he experiences things—and things only, not people. While he never came out of his autism, he began after a while to use personal pronouns in reverse, as do most autistic children. He referred to himself as you and to the adult he was speaking to as I. A year later he called his therapist by name, though still not addressing her as “you,” but saying, "Want Miss M. to swing you.”

What was the nature of his obsession with rotating fans. He had made early visits to an airport with his father. A fan was something Joey could take apart. Circling objects are fascinating to most autistic children. They seem to be particularly suitable for expressing something that typifies the disturbance in general. I believe it to be that they circle around and around, never reaching a goal. Rather than speculate further I prefer to rely on Joey’s comments to us on a visit some years after he left us. [The brilliant and moving account of the intensive course of therapy is concluded by the glimpse of a happy ending. Joey’s case is both spectacular for the patient’s energy and ingeniousness and that of his therapists.] At that time he told us what we had only guessed up to then, that for him, the very shape of those rotating objects suggested the circle he was helplessly caught in. They represented the vicious circle of longing and fear, of wanting so much from others and of being mortally afraid to let his longing be known, either to them or to himself.

For Bettelheim,

All childhood psychoses, but particularly infantile autism can be traced to the child’s conviction that his life is in mortal danger. Short of this conviction one simply does not erect such wholly debilitating defenses. The child longs for mutuality. He wants to be part of a circle consisting of him and his parents, preferably with him as the center around which their lives revolve. This, the autistic child states in his back-and-forth rocking and his circling. The back and forth twiddling of Marcia and the tearing round and round of Laurie, represent the same desire for and fear of the breast; they are thus more primitive precursors of the rotation of objects. For Joey, electricity was light and warmth and power. It literally empowered him to live, when he plugged himself in.

He developed to articulate this pseudo-logic; as when he claimed that the wooden block had nerve impulses that caused its muscles to move. But for the most part he spoke in opposites, in private allusions and with such erratic usage that for a long time we could make little sense of what he said. Through talking in opposites, he asserted autonomy and was able to bind his anxiety about threatening things he felt he could not control.

The process used was to slowly, very slowly and with infinite precautions, restrict the use of his various apparatus, replacing them with human connections. Dependent on tubes for connections, we told him when we felt he had acquired some trust in our good intentions, that we would no longer replace broken tubes, and eventually, he began to run out of them since he would explode them in violent, self-destructive impulses. Joey did not of course abandon the use of tubes simply because we stopped buying them. He just fabricated them out of cellophane, cardboard, masking tape and pieces of wire. But since he himself produced them, and knew exactly what they were, he controlled them in a way, instead of the other way around. This, we believe, was the most positive gain in our withholding of real equipment. It forced Joey to assert himself in more direct ways — at least to the degree of forging the tools he felt he needed for living. We had created a situation that made him indeed homo faber, man the tool maker. It started him on the long trek of transforming, first material things to fit them to the needs of his life, and later himself, too, so that he could not only have the things but also the life he wanted.

Like other autistic children, Joey tended less to hide his thoughts than to pose them in riddles to be solved, and in this way, he tested our desire to understand him, a desire that would also attest to our willingness that he should exist.

Duchamp’s lifework, then, when considered in its totality will suggest—on the grandest possible scale and in a fashion that has, in Freud’s phrase, the “binding force” of “achievement”—the creative instantiation of the energies and strategies at work, the rigorous economy of a syndrome. The coherence of the lifework has the coherence of a given syndrome, that of autism considered as a language system. The Large Glass is its major expression and Anemic Cinema is the most powerful and succinct emblem.

The study of Duchamp’s general thematic concerns and formal strategies must, then, proceed, somewhat on the order of an analytic study of a syndrome as a form of language. The long process of elaboration which produces the Bride is a bodying forth of a complex and fissured image of the self; its dynamics suggest the infinitely postponed healing of that fracture in a whole Marcel, as Joey’s obsession with his mysterious “Connecticut Papoose” revealed itself as a fantasy of rebirth, turning upon the redirection (“Connect-I-Cut”) of electrical energy. Duchamp’s persistent interest in Rotary Spheres, in the forms of rotation and motion, the insistence upon the usefulness of objects (exemplified in his joy at the possibility of Anemic Cinema being considered as a therapeutic device to be used in the restoration of Vision), the elaborate linguistic play, the recasting of natural laws into highly artificial and controlled codes, the subversion of measure, the constant movement between alternatives which supported his esprit de contradiction, the disdain of community, the extreme interest in scientific discovery, the enchantment with the pseudo-science of paraphysics, represent only a few strategies of the autistic economy so remarkably converted by him to the uses of art and speculative thought.

Basic to these is the fact that "solipsistic subjects create a world not based on common experience. Only those experiences that one can objectify through the laws of mathematical logic, such as the principles of mathematics or the lawfulness of a number chain need no confirmation by others. These logical mathematical constitutions carry their own objectification within one’s self, must be of enormous importance to the fundamental structures and functioning of thought in general and of child logic in particular.

To see the scope and quality of Duchamp’s achievement as a system whose complexity, integrity, and force is analogous to that of a pathological economy, is to confront concretely, and in the liveliest and most extensive detail Freud’s recognition that the “forms assumed by the different neuroses have an unpalatable external similarity and kinship to the systems of our philosophers” and artists. Our present recognition that the psychoanalysts have assumed a large share of the tasks defined by Plutarch or Vasari, rests on the more essential recognition that the lowliest of schizophrenics is involved in an enterprise of heroic scale. The economy of autism will impel patients like Joey to a synthetic construction of a language system in which word, gesture, movement, are organized with a quality of grandeur.

It was in Duchamp’s own youth that the Surrealists proclaimed their celebration of the discovery of conversion hysteria as a major spiritual and esthetic innovation. Taking Freud at his word, they believed, indeed, that “A little reflection was bound to show that it would be impossible to restrict to the provinces of dreams and nervous disorders a view such as [psychoanalysis provided] of the human mind.” Aware of the manner in which neurotic and psychotic became “imaginative artists,” they then proceeded, in an inversion commanded by their role as artists, to explore the possibilities of the neurotic syndrome as formal model for esthetic innovation. Significant and probing analyses of that inversion and its consequences have yet to be undertaken. Breton and Eluard’s adoption of the language and rhetoric of schizophrenia, Dali’s appropriation of the strategies of paranoia (developed through his reading of Lacan’s early theoretical work), represent the two most immediately accessible instances of that inversion.

Like the celebration of the discovery of conversion hysteria, these were, however, mere episodes in the evolution of style and rhetoric. Duchamp’s case, the variety, the power, and sustained mystery of his work suggest something quite apart, an impulse so basic andcompelling that it transcends the separate decisions and choices which articulate it. What was, in fact, the source of the lifelong sympathy and admiration which Breton gave to him as to no other man? The sense of rigor grounded in compulsion, of that detached and playful intellect as a passion, of a beauty that was, indeed, “convulsive?”


1. Sergei Eisenstein. "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram, Film Form, Essays in Film Theory, ed. and trans. Jay Leyda, (New York, 1949), pp. 28–29.

2. Pierre Cahanne, Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp (New York, 1971), p. 104.

3. Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even, trans. George Heard Hamilton, (New York, 1960), n.p.

4. Robert Lebel, Marcel Duchamp, trans. George Heard Hamilton, (London, 1959), p. 42.

5. Bruno Bettelheim, The Empty Fortress, Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self (New York, 1967), pp. 233–339 passim.