Daily Archives: April 19, 2014

Pan’s Labyrinth (HUM425)

Heart of Summer

Here’s a rough commentary on Pan’s Labyrinth. If I were writing a paper, I’d consider it a first draft and look to re-draft twice. We’ll discuss PL in class on Tuesday and work on Kalpa Imperial. Come prepared.

Ofelia finds the stone eye of a statue, one that resembles a piece of ritual art or a totem. She places the eye into the statue’s empty socket. (The statue can now “see”.) A large insect (which O refers to as a fairy– is this a misrecognition?) immediately emerges from its mouth. (Is this a kind of speech? If so it is a material signifier, yet one that, at least in O’s eyes, can mutate.)

The fairy/bug signifies alterity, a fantasy world. We see it as grotesque, while to O it symbolizes fantasy/mystery/magic. This is the first instance, perhaps, of a disconnect between appearance and essence. That gap will be reformulated in the figures of the Captain (a father who is not a father) and the Faun (the threatening aspect of this creature misdirects our reading of him).

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