naturally, for so much seems to be within
their scope. So many arts at first stood
ready to offer their help. For example,
there was literature. All the famous novels
of the world with their well known charac-
ters and their famous scenes only asked to
be put on the films. What could be easier,
what could be simpler? The cinema fell
upon its prey with immense rapacity and to
this moment largely subsists upon the body of
its unfortunate victim. But the results have 
been disastrous to both. The alliance is un-
natural. Eye and brain are torn assunder
ruthlessly as they try vainly to work in
couple. They eye says, "Here is Anna Kare-
nina," and a voluptuous lady in black velvet
wearing pearls comes before us. The
brain exclaims, "That is no more Anna
Karenina than it is Queen Victoria!" For
the brain knows Anna almost entirely by
the inside of her mind—her charm, her pas-
sion, her despair, whereas all the emphasis
is now laid upon her teeth, her pearls and
her velvet. The cinema proceeds, "Anna
falls in love with Vronsky"—that is to say
the lady in black velvet falls into the arms of
a gentleman in uniform and they kiss with
enormous succulence, great deliberation, and
infinite gesticulation on a sofa in an extremely
well appointed library. So we lurch and
lumber through the most famous novels of
the world. So we spell them out in words
of one syllable written in the scrawl of an
illiterate schoolboy. A kiss is love. A
smashed chair is jealousy. A grin is happi-
ness. Death is a hearse. None of these
things has the least connection with the novel
that Tolstoy wrote and it is only when we
give up trying to connect the pictures with
the book that we guess from some scene by
the way—a gardener mowing the lawn out-
side, for example, or a tree shaking its 
branches in the sunshine—what the cinema
might do if it were left to its own devices.

But what then are its own devices? If
it ceased to be a parasite in what fashion
would it walk erect? At present it is only
from hints and accidents that one can frame
any conjecture. For instance at a perform-

[new column]

ance of Dr. Caligari the other day a
shadow shaped like a tadpole suddenly ap-
peared at one corner of the screen. It swelled
to an immense size, quivered, bulged and
sank back again into nonentity. For a mo-
ment it seemed to embody some monstrous
diseased imagination of the lunatic's brain.
For a moment it seemed as if thought could
be conveyed by shape more effectively than
by words. The monstrous quivering tad-
pole seemed to be fear itself, and not the
statement "I am afraid." In fact, the 
shadow was accidental, and the effect unin-
tentional. But if a shadow at a certain mo-
ment can suggest so much more than the
actual gestures, the actual words of men and
women in a state of fear, it seems plain that
the cinema has within its grasp innumerable
symbols for emotions that have so far failed
to find expression. Terror has besides its
ordinary forms the shape of a tadpole; it
burgeons, bulges, quivers, disappears.
Anger might writhe like an infuriated worm
in black zigzags across a white sheet. Anna
and Vronsky need no longer scowl and
grimace. They have at their command—but
here the imagination fumbles and is baulked.
For what characteristics does thought possess
which can be rendered visible to the eye with-
out the help of words? It has speed and
slowness; dartlike directness and vaporous
circumlocution. But it has also an inveterate
tendency especially in moments of emotion
to make images run side by side with itself,
to create a likeness of the thing thought
about, as if by so doing it took away its
sting, or made it beautiful and compre-
hensible. In Shakespeare, as everybody 
knows, the most complex ideas, the most in-
tense emotions form chains of images, through
which we pass, however, rapidly and com-
pletely they change, as up the loops and
spirals of a twisting stair. But obviously
the poet's images are not to be cast in bronze
or traced with pencil and paint. They are
compact of a thousand suggestions, of which
the visual is only the most obvious or the
uppermost. Even the simplest images such
as "My luve's like a red, red rose, that's