Camera Lucida Reflections on Photography

Roland Barthes; Translated from the French by Richard Howard; Foreword by Geoff Dyer

Hill and Wang



Trade Paperback

144 Pages



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This personal, wide-ranging, and contemplative volume—and the last book Barthes published—finds the author applying his influential perceptiveness and associative insight to the subject of photography. To this end, several black-and-white photos (by the likes of Avedon, Clifford, Hine, Mapplethorpe, Nadar, Van Der Zee, and so forth) are reprinted throughout the text.


Praise for Camera Lucida

"This is a great book—flawed, impossible, infuriating, and moving . . . but he has accomplished in this extraordinary book something finer than mere polemic. En route to his last painful discovery, Barthes takes the reader on an exquisitely rendered, lyrical journey into the heart of his own life and the medium he came to love, a medium that flirts constantly with the 'intractable reality' of the human condition."—Douglas Davis, Newsweek

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ROLAND BARTHES was born in 1915. A French literary theorist, philosopher, and critic, he influenced the development of schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, and post-structuralism. He died in 1980.
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  • Roland Barthes; Translated from the French by Richard Howard; Foreword by Geoff Dyer

  • Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and the classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the College de France until his death in 1980.
  • Geoff Dyer Copyright Valeria Guglielmi