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Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (1980)

by Roland Barthes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,958105,784 (4.06)13
A graceful, contemplative volume,Camera Lucidawas 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 establishedCamera Lucidaas one of the most important books of theory on the subject, along with Susan Sontag'sOn Photography.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, Namrata125, artedetimo, Acia, mpg2106, edbertozzi, Correaf, porges, altheagreen
Legacy LibrariesLeslie Scalapino, Eeva-Liisa Manner
  1. 20
    On Photography by Susan Sontag (chrisharpe)
  2. 20
    Ways of Seeing by John Berger (chrisharpe)
  3. 00
    Nox by Anne Carson (emydid)
    emydid: Both are explorations of loss, death, and essence by way of triangulation through a third object (a Catullus poem in the case of Carson; photographs in the case of Barthes).
  4. 00
    Le mystère de la chambre claire : Photographie et inconscient by Serge Tisseron (greuh)
    greuh: Le livre de Barthes est évoqué à de nombreuses reprises dans le livre de Tisseron, qui critique la démarche de Barthes. Une lecture du livre de Barthes devrait donc enrichir, je pense, le lecteur du livre de Tisseron. Même si je ne l'ai pas fait...
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» See also 13 mentions

English (9)  Catalan (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Based on 48 fragments of philosophical insights about photography, this short book is at its core about love and grief, written after the loss of Barthes’ mother in 1977 with whom he had lived most of his life. He starts looking for her among old photographs and time and again the face he finds is not hers, even if she looks like herself. He ends up discovering her true likeness, the "air" that he remembers, in a picture of his mother at five years old taken by a provincial photographer in a winter garden in 1898. ( )
  Acia | Jun 30, 2020 |
Il potere della fotografia in un testo complesso e poetico tuttora indispensabile. ( )
  carben | Mar 24, 2020 |
Personally, I found this book to be of uneven quality. It has flashes where it is very good indeed, and then there are sections where I thought that he was meandering.

It is not an easy book, and I did read it slowly. I may well read it again. The overall tone is sombre, and the parts that I like are when he discusses a photograph, because this made me a lot more sensitive to what is in the photo, and what the story could possibly be. This is the singular most achievement of this set of writings.

I am not sure about that section on his mother, but the pain of her loss, and his love for her shine through. This part is deeply personal, and I must admire him for being able to share this. ( )
1 vote RajivC | Jan 15, 2016 |
Det här är verkligen en klassiker inom fototeorin. Barthes försöker nå fram till fotografiets innersta väsen. Vad är det som gör ett fotografi till något mer än ett fruset ögonblick? Varför berör vissa bilder oss, men inte andra? I boken använder Barthes begreppen "punctum" och "studium". "Punctum" är det som drabbar oss i en bild, det som berör oss, det som lyfter fotografiet till att bli något mer än ett "studium", dvs visar på något mer än ett fruset ögonblick i tiden. ( )
  AsaMajander | Sep 14, 2011 |
It's a convoluted, superfluous mess. My professor even admitted it should be called "What Turns Me On" by Roland Barthes for its subjective indulgence and nutty pluralism. Read in less than a day. ( )
  g0ldenboy | Feb 13, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roland Barthesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Freiberga, ElgaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jāne, ArtaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lapinska, IevaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petříček, MiroslavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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En hommage à L'imaginaire de Sartre.
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Un jour, il y a bien longtemps, je tombai sur une photographie du dernier frère de Napoléon, Jérôme (1852).
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