About the book
The Spectral Body: Aspects of the Cinematic Oeuvre of Istvan Szabó analyses some of the films made by Academy Award winner Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo to establish an interpretative matrix disclosing the root of haunting effects in the visual and the narrative levels of the diegeses. By combining two distinct – and often incongruous – lines of psychoanalytic thought (by Nicolas Abraham and Jacques Lacan), Zoltán Dragon argues that these films are fuelled by the work of a phantom on all levels, hiding the secrets of the family history of the characters and producing uncanny visual scenarios to make the act of hiding even more effective.
Praise for the book
“I think that the position that Zoltan Dragon has forged for himself and from which he writes, is a highly original and interesting one. He has been most successful in developing his framework in relation to Szabo’s oeuvre which he knows in the greatest detail. His readings of that oeuvre are rich and powerful and will provoke considerable debate in the world of film studies and also of psychoanalytical studies.”
View sample pages from the book. You can also download a sample pdf (including the title page, table of contents, and most of the introduction).
The first review of the book appeared on October 25, 2006, entitled “A fantom paradigmája” [The Paradigm of the Phantom] in the leading Hungarian journal of film criticism, Filmkultúra, written by Réka M. Cristian. Read it here.