Journal Article

PHOTOGRAPHY, MEMORY AND SURVIVAL

Martin Golding

in Literature and Theology

Volume 14, issue 1, pages 52-68
Published in print March 2000 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online March 2000 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/14.1.52
PHOTOGRAPHY, MEMORY AND SURVIVAL

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Death insults and embarrasses us Barthes drew attention to the way death is figured in the photograph in a way that compels us to engage with it. This article explores, through the work of Christian Boltanski and others how the photograph—which both captures the uniqueness of the moment and makes its infinitely replaceable—perpetuates a sense of ourselves and is able to offer a public commemoration.

Contemporaneous with the retreat of religious observance, Photography could perhaps correspond, in our modern society, to the intrusion of a Death without symbols, outside religion, outside ritual, a kind of abrupt plunge into just literal Death.

We are annoyed with death

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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