Tuesday, April 9, 2013

light, space, and a waste bin

I wanted an image that would remind me - but not replicate - the Polaroid by Daniel Boudinet that Barthes semi-mysteriously includes at the beginning of La Chambre Claire/Camera Lucida [when I was introducing that text in class on Monday, and explaining the imperfect nature of the translation, I wasn't terrifically pleased to have a student interrupt me and ask if I spoke French.  Er, yes.].  It's a very blue lit image (hence the blue-ification of this one): nearly drawn curtains, with a thin triangle of light showing through, illuminating, but hardly revealing, an object of furniture - a chair, a sofa end.  It's only semi-mysterious, of course, because, unalluded to in the text, it's simultaneously arbitrary, a transcendental moment of the ordinary, and a tease, since unexplained.  And maybe there is no explanation, just as I have no explanation to offer when it comes to the existence of an image of a waste bin.  I gave one of my best ever explanations of the birth of the reader, the death of the author (hey: it's been a long time since I've been teaching this stuff) on Monday, but I think it fell on many deaf ears: there was much doing other things on laptops in that class.  Hagh!  Have I got a free-writing surprise for you tomorrow!!

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