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Non-pareille? Issues in Modern French Photo-Essayism

Stafford, A. (2005) Non-pareille? Issues in Modern French Photo-Essayism. In: Forsdick, C. and Stafford, A., (eds.) The Modern Essay in French: Movement, Instability, Performance. Modern French Identities (41). Peter Lang , Oxford , pp. 101-118. ISBN 3039105140

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[FIRST PARAGRAPH][L]’esthéthique sait depuis longtemps que l’image, contrairement à ce que croit et fait croire la machine d’information, montre toujours moins bien que les mots toute grandeur qui passe la mesure: horreur, gloire, sublimité, extase. (Comolli and Rancière 1997, 66)

It may seem odd, in a general analysis of the modern French essay accompanying photography, that there is no reproduction of photographs. This is however a deliberate choice, and not one without precedent, as the collection of Michel Butor’s photo-essays into one photo-less volume shows. For it would seem in this age of the image – dubbed by essayists as diverse as Debray (1992), Flusser (2000 [1983]), Gervereau (2000), Glissant (1994) as the televisual era – the written word has tended to be downplayed. This is no more the case than in the photo-essay, a sub-genre largely overlooked and under-theorised, generally subsumed within photo-journalism, and in which photographic sequences are preferred to written text (see Mélon, in Baetens and Gonzalez 1996, 138–55).

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Reproduced with permission from the publisher.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Modern Languages and Cultures (Leeds) > French (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 12:01
Status: Published
Publisher: Peter Lang
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/782

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