Photography and Writing, or the Intimacy of the Image: A Dialogic Encounter between Barthes’s Camera Lucida and Blanchot’s Philosophy of otherness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article was prompted by James Elkins’s argument — developed in his book, What Photography Is, from 2011 — that there is no actual relationship between Roland Barthes’s theory of photography and Maurice Blanchot’s philosophy. Drawing on considerations of an historical, philosophical, and literary nature, the article argues for the importance of a dialogic encounter between Barthes and Blanchot, demonstrating that the interconnection between the concepts of intimacy, image, and writing, appears as a crucial aspect in the theory of both authors. At the same time, by contesting Elkins’s wider criticism of Barthes’s Camera Lucida (1982), the article aims to develop better-informed theoretical understandings of Barthes’s thoughts on photography. The final section of the article attempts to map promising points of connection between Barthes, Blanchot, and Proust, in order to reassess the notion of punctum in its broader relation with the concepts of time and death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-301
Number of pages19
JournalPhotographies
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

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