Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photographyby Roland Barthes
A graceful, contemplative volume, Camera Lucida was first published in 1979. Commenting on artists such as Avedon, Clifford, Mapplethorpe, and Nadar, Roland Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium. This/i>
A graceful, contemplative volume, Camera Lucida was first published in 1979. Commenting on artists such as Avedon, Clifford, Mapplethorpe, and Nadar, Roland Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium. This groundbreaking approach established Camera Lucida as one of the most important books of theory on the subject, along with Susan Sontag's On Photography.
“[Barthes] has accomplished in this extraordinary book something finer than mere polemic. En route to his last painful discovery, Barthes takes the reader on an exquisitely rendered, lyrical journey into the heart of his own life and the medium he came to love, a medium that flirts constantly with the ‘intractable reality' of the human condition.” Newsweek
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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- 5.32(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.33(d)
Meet the Author
ROLAND BARTHES was born in 1915. A French literary theorist, philosopher, and critic, he influenced the development of schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism. He died in 1980.
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Parts of this text are lucid and easy to comprehend. Other parts are incredibly dense and almost crazy. I found it easy to pick it up and read sections out of order, say, at bedtime, almost like a Choose Your Own Adventures books. I could picture myself carrying it around on the top of a stack of books as if to indicate my snooty intellectual status. Because I am enrolled in a photography class now, it is especially meaningful. It would take an advanced high school student to enjoy the complexity of language, which seems to be well-translated. I wish the photographs he chose to include were situated next to the text that explores them. A terrific read for brainy academic photographers!
Beautiful, poignant, and personal meditations on death are intertwined with traditional philosophical and phenomenological language in Barthes' final work.
Reflections on how photography should never be used in my eyes, a cheat and injustice to artists with real talent, but found the book fairly informative if on the boring side.
Granted, I had to read this book for a university course, so I took at it with no biases what so ever. I found the writing to be as vibrant and lucid as DeCartes trying to prove his circular theory of existance isn't circular. The writing is convoluted without any measure of tempo to prod the reader to finish the text. I grew bored with the tedium after ten pages.