Reading Question

“This ancient ‘it’ is something I call ‘an image.’ By image I don’t mean a visual representation, I mean something that is more like a ghost than a picture; something which feels somehow alive, has no fixed meaning and is contained and transported by something that is not alive- a book, a son, a painting–anything we call an ‘art form’” (15).

–Lynda Barry, Syllabus


Barthes writes in Camera Lucida that punctum makes a photo more than a visual representation. In this passage, Barry seems to be referring to a similar phenomenon, but with an image. Since the referent of a drawing is not the same as the referent of a photograph, how would you describe its transference? What makes an image an image, and not merely a visual representation?

1 Comment

  1. This quotation resonated with me, too. I like the connections you’re making here to Camera Lucida. I have an idea that we’ll spend a lot of time talking about this idea in class–one because of your excellent question, but also because my stop-write prompt has something to do with this quotation, too. 🙂

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