Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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' last work before his death in 1980 is a profound, personal and disturbing confrontation with the ecstacy of image.

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Editorial Reviews

Anatole Broyard
A considerable part of ''Camera Lucida'' is a semiotic dithyramb, if you can imagine such a thing, on the subject of Mr. Barthes's deceased mother....in ''Camera Lucida'' Mr. Barthes has photographed himself, in words, as ''thus and so,'' and has added to the serenity of the great Oriental sages an inexhaustible originality and a play of mind like the play of sunlight on a grand French boulevard. -- New York Times
From the Publisher
“[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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374521349
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 5/1/1982
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 119
  • Product dimensions: 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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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    Beautiful, poignant, and personal meditations on death are inter

    Beautiful, poignant, and personal meditations on death are intertwined with traditional philosophical and phenomenological language in Barthes' final work.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    If you are mesmerized by DeCartes, this is a charmer

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2002

    Informative, yet captivating

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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