Glossary Term – Image

Image: A modern understanding of this term points to a material/visual representation, which depicts something–a photograph or sign for example. Lynda Barry uses image to refer to “something which feels somehow alive, has no fixed meaning and is contained and transported by something that is not alive (15).” This definition is closer the the Latin imaginem, which may refer to a “phantom” or “ghost.” The object that performs this in Latin use is imago, referring to an insect that has reached its final form. Can we think of image as the sad person who smiles at a stranger in order to depict a state of happiness? Barry uses the example of a child’s blanket which is an image of safety. Safety has life, has no fixed meaning as we all experience it differently, and is contained in the blanket. This usage comes close to the idea of punctum

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