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Sheppard, A. (2005). On: Dogville: A parable on perversion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):897-898.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(3):897-898

On: Dogville: A parable on perversion Related Papers

Angela Sheppard

Dear Sirs,

Abella and Zilkha's review (2004) of Lars Von Trier's new film has two errors that I noticed. One smaller one is their quote of the Narrator about Tom Edison (the writer) that ‘he has so far only written the words “small” and “big”’ (p. 1521). (I am aware that this paper was translated into English.) The Narrator actually says, he ‘has so far only written the words “great” and “small”’, which might matter in so far as they are meant by Von Trier (a man of details) to refer to a popular hymn with the lines ‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all’.

A larger discrepancy occurs when the authors explain Grace's flight at the beginning of the film as having been due to her pride: ‘Grace could not bear hearing her father reproach her arrogance’ (p. 1523). In fact, this is what the whole film builds up to as a revelation at the end. We do not know why she is on the run, indeed we never do find out explicitly why she ran, just that she ran after telling her father he was arrogant.

At the beginning, Grace had said of herself to Tom that she did not deserve the bread he was offering her because ‘I stole that bone [from the dog Moses]. I'd never stolen anything before. So now—now I have to punish myself. I was raised to be arrogant. So, I … I had to teach myself these things’.

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