An Exercise Of Self Discovery Essay

707 Words Jun 22nd, 2015 3 Pages
So his method is to give in to those photographs he loves, to immerse himself inthem so that they can perhaps lead him to some universal feature “without whichthere would not be photography” (8). He is phenomenological in his approachthen, following the Husserlian quest for the things themselves. Yet what makeshis analysis rich is precisely its remaining in the sentimental mode—in its attemptto understand the photograph not as a theme but as a wound or as that object thatcan turn us, subjects, into objects and as that object that can prick us. He evensays that ultimately, photography turns us into “specters”; it is a microversion of death (14), but more on that later. Barthes’s initial investigation into the natureof photography turns out to be an exercise in self-discovery and in the nature of interpersonal life. It is a disclosure of self with others. What he calls his ontologi-cal desire to expose photography as such turns into an existential excursion intowhat it means to be, to be as other (since the camera turns me into an object),and to be with others (as a photograph reconnects him to his mother). It is thisexistential aspect of his analysis that prompts me to see how elements found inan image may be found in words. Ultimately, what I see and what I read take me back to the self who I am, was, and will be.While Barthes recognizes that he likes certain photographs because of what he calls the studium , a taste for something, “a kind of general…

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