"How Far can I Make my Fingers Stretch?": A Response to Vivian Sobchack's "What my Fingers Knew"? from A Depth-Hermeneutic Perspective

Steffen Krueger


By reviewing the acclaimed film scholar Vivian Sobchack's existential phenomenological approach to film interpretation against the background of Alfred Lorenzer's "Depth-Hermeneutic Cultural Analysis: A Psychoanalytically Oriented Approach“ this paper will not only unfold a critical social dimension in Sobchack's concern of film and film critique, but also work out the points of contact in the two approaches. My attempt to understand and criticize Sobchack through Lorenzer thus aims first and foremost at cross-fertilization of the fields of psychoanalytically and phenomenologically oriented research.

Bringing the central aspects of Lorenzer's conception of depth hermeneutic face to face with parallel lines of thought in Sobchack's "What my Fingers Knew:The Cinesthetic Subject, or Vision in the Flesh?,“ one of her central methodological statements, I will unfold how this critical social dimension has been present in her methodological conception all along. In closely following Sobchack's notion of the chiasmatic ˜third term," I argue that it is within the experience of a scenic, embodied response to film itself that this dimension can be retrieved.


Sobchack; Lorenzer; depth-hermeneutics; existential phenomenology; scenic understanding; The Piano

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1234/fa.v0i64.73

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