- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (15 July 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099225417
- ISBN-13: 978-0099225416
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 15 Jul 1993
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"Of all his works it is the most accessible in language and the most revealing about the author. And effortlessly, as if in passing, his reflections on photography raise questions and doubts which will permanently affect the vision of the reader" (Guardian)
"I am moved by the sense of discovery in Camera Lucida, by the glimpse of a return to a lost world" (New Society)
"Profoundly shaped the way the medium is regarded" (Geoff Dyer Guardian)
‘Roland Barthes' final book - less a critical essay than a suite of valedictory meditations - is his most beautiful, and most painful’ ObserverSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This particular essay ventures into the debate of the death of painting that has been raging since the invention of the camera. Whilst he is not so obvious as to suggest that this is the essence of the debate he defines by implication why the photo can never replace painting. The photo unequivocally represents what it represents. And what it represents is death.That is its bleakness.It always represents the past.There is always something rather spooky about photography for this reason because it allows the return of the dead through realistic and yet at the same time spectral visual evidence i.e.not representation.
It is all too easy to be negatively critical about such a work because it is by no means easy to get a handle on it in one reading but that of course is its strength. There is much that this work could be said to embrace not least the aforesaid debate regarding the death of painting, but in addition the artificial ways in which history is constructed as well as the deconstruction of human myths.
Mythologies (Vintage Classics)
it is not an easy read but is very passionately written with a heavy emphasis on 'the photograph by onlooker' rather than what a photographic may think of their own photograph.
if i had to say one thing against this book would be that when Barthes was writing there was a huge void between 'professional' and 'amateur' photography which he draws on throughout, this of course has been smashed quite impressively by the influx of the digital era, but as he wrote htis in the 1970's/80's this was not the case.
even so, this is a must read for all who have an interest in the social and theoretical implications of the photograph.
I will re-read it slowly, with a good dictionary by my side, and cut through the style to get at the basic ideas. I think Barthes does have valid points to make. Photography surrounds us and is taken too much for granted with little thought. For example a video (or music) is embedded in time and you have to follow the creators time frame. Photography on the other hand is outside time, you can look at a photograph in the way you choose for as long as you want, in the same way as a painting. On the other hand photography is an aspect of a moment of reality which existed in the past, unlike a painting which is an artists interpretation of something he saw, imagined or felt.
I was curious as to why I used my camera at the hardest times in my life and this book helped me to come to a conclusion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Confusing at times but great if your doing a degree in photography like me or just want to read something that will challenge your mind.Published 1 month ago by Hannah Cooper
For anyone deciding whether to buy this or not, aparently it's supposed to be a mandatory read for amateur photographers and above (according to my lecturer! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hannah