We recently published Nora Nadjarian’s brilliant “The Kuleshov Effect.”
Here, we ask her two questions about her story:
1) I love the way you take this film technique and use it to such brilliant effect in prose! Where did you first hear of the Kuleshov effect?
I’ve always been interested in film as an art form, fascinated in particular by Hitchcock and the techniques he uses for visual storytelling. Hitchcock uses ‘montage’ or ‘editing’ to superb effect in order to give his films their meaning. This story was written one night when, while clearing out my desk, I came across some long-forgotten notes on film editing techniques. Reading through them, it seemed to me that the Kuleshov Effect could be a great way to explore the writing of a piece of prose. I thought “show, don’t tell’ had a lot in common with juxtaposing images in film without further explanation. I started writing a story with folk tale elements, chose a few human and a few animal characters, and experimented with the form to see how far I could go. I was both surprised and delighted with the result, as it is a story quite unlike anything I’ve written before.
2) At times, this feels like it could be a retelling of Red Riding Hood. Is that your intent or just a lovely coincidence?
You’re right, there is certainly a fairy-tale element to the story but the resemblance to Red Riding Hood was unintentional. Through episodes of this girl’s life I wanted to portray a landscape of potential violence, to hint at the disturbing truths of sexism, harassment, assault, abuse. I’ve deliberately left the last sentence open-ended, rather like ending a film on an image which is both a question and an answer.