Introduction: A Shot in the Dark

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI:
Introduction: A Shot in the Dark

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A funny thing happens behind the backs of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Wilhelm van Ruytenburgh when they are on the point of leading their company to an unspecified site of assembly or action. We can see the barrel angle up from the Captain's shoulder to the Lieutenant's hat brim and we can make out the puff of fiery smoke it discharges perilously close to the ostrich plumes, which seem flattened back by the blast. That the officers soldier on as if they hadn't heard or felt the shot testifies to their remarkable discipline, or insensitivity, or something else. Sitters are the patrons' representatives, by which the author means that they get portrayed as if their performances are self-willed rather than externally imposed. Sitters appear to have chosen the poses they hold, and in that sense they are depicted as independent agents.

Keywords: Frans Banning Cocq; Wilhelm van Ruytenburgh; officers; sitters; patrons

Chapter.  2825 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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