Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) is renowned for his pioneering book Street Life in London, widely regarded as a classic of social documentary and as laying the foundations for today's photojournalism. In a career which also included a series of outstanding photographic portfolios - shot in challenging conditions - documenting life, landscape and architecture in the Far East, followed by a successful studio portraiture business in London, Thomson also took time to translate and edit this edition of Gaston Tissandier's book. First published in 1876, it became a standard reference work of the period, and blends a concise and highly readable history of the invention and development of photography with a uniquely readable account of late 19th century photographic practice, at a time when the making of a single new image could be measured in hours rather than seconds. A History and Handbook of Photography is a classic text providing a detailed and accessible insight into the thinking and working of photographers of the period.
The importance of vision and visual arts such as painting, theatre, and sculpture in Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu has long been affirmed; another significant system of visual representation in the novel is photography. Proust appropriated photography as a practice with its own distinctive characteristics which could inform his writing about the processes of perception and memory. Through close textual analysis of scenes where photography is experienced or observed as a practice, and scenes where photography is written into the body of the text, Aine Larkin offers an invigorating new study that sheds genuinely new light on the presence of photographic motifs in Proust's novel, and the subtlety of Proust's engagement with this modern imaging system in his work.
This radically new account of the relationship between photography and literary realism in Victorian Britain draws on detailed readings of photographs, writings about photography, and fiction by Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Oscar Wilde. While other critics have argued that photography defined what would be 'real' for literary fiction, Daniel A. Novak demonstrates that photography itself was associated with the unreal - with fiction and the literary imagination. Once we acknowledge that manipulation was essential rather than incidental to the project of nineteenth-century realism, our understanding of the relationship between photography and fiction changes in important ways. Novak argues that while realism may seem to make claims to particularity and individuality, both in fiction and in photography, it relies much more on typicality than on perfect reproduction. Illustrated with many photographs, this book represents an important contribution to current debates on the nature of Victorian realism.
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