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Heroes and Villains, or Truffaut and the Literary Pre/Text

John Anzalone
The French Review
Vol. 72, No. 1 (Oct., 1998), pp. 48-57
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/399094
Page Count: 10
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Heroes and Villains, or Truffaut and the Literary Pre/Text
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Abstract

Even after he had become a successful director, Truffaut harbored a nostalgic envy of the novelist, and claimed that his filmic adaptations were homages to books he had loved as a boy. Yet none of his eleven adaptations involved a canonical work by a major French author. Close study of Tirez sur le pianiste, Truffaut's first adaptation, suggests that this reticence was based on his need to assert the cinematic auteur as the equal of the novelist. The film rehearses many of the programmatic elements of Truffaut's fifties film criticism, at the precise point in his career when the critic would be written out in favor of the scriptwriter.

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