Brian Warfield on Stefan Milne

April 5, 2012

Brian Warfield, who contributed the superb story Whale to Issue Eighteen, talk about his favorite piece from the same issue: Stefan Milne’s The Elegiacs of Fruit and Chocolate.

Maybe people know that Alfred Hitchcock used Bosco chocolate syrup in Psycho for blood. Maybe they know he got the sound of stabbing flesh by stabbing casaba melons. Or these are secrets that even this story doesn’t exactly reveal.

This is a kind of writing that leaves its hand over the words to be discovered only as the author intends. It is a Hitchcockian versatility which utilizes symbols to get at deeper, psychological meaning.

There are loops in the story, loops within loops like life-sustaining blood-letting.

I feel bad now that I’ve so indextrously outed the mirrors. Hitchcock strived for utter control over making his movies and their perception/reception. And then someone comes around and, before you even have a chance to see it, tells you how the movie ends.

This story is a set of twin couplets — fruit and chocolate standing in for death and Hitchcock’s Psycho which I will leave for you to draw the representing correspondent.