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Non-pareille?\ud Issues in Modern French Photo-Essayism\ud

By A. Stafford


[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)\ud \ud \ud 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).\u

Publisher: Peter Lang
Year: 2005
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