Our attention this coming week will shift to a book written near the end of Roland Barthes’ life in which he reflects differently on photography than he did in “The Rhetoric of the Image.” Camera Lucida offers a sort of intimate meditation on a set of photographs that touch Barthes deeply, and much of the book is an effort to find vocabulary to think through the particularity, singularity of each of these images. As you read, I ask that you pay attention to the examples Barthes offers, especially as pertains to his distinction between the studium and the punctum.
Your challenge for next week is, first, to choose a photograph that touches you deeply and to reproduce it on a piece of paper. We don’t need the original photograph, obviously, so a scanned version or a printed version is absolutely fine. Then, using Fragment 25 and 27 (not pages 26 and 27, but the sections 25 and 7) as models, I would like you to offer a reflection of no fewer than 400 words in which you comment on the photograph:its spectrum, its studiumand punctum. Drawing inspiration from Barthes, please feel free to use this activity as an open, creative exploration of how to look beyond the most obvious reading of the image and how to imitate the style of this masterful writer.
Just to let you know I am from Saudi Arabia if you needed that information to include in the paper.