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Picturing ourselves : photography & autobiography

Author: Linda Haverty Rugg
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
As Linda Haverty Rugg persuasively shows, photography's double take on self-image mirrors the concerns of autobiographers, who see the self as simultaneously divided (in observing/being) and unified by the autobiographical act. Rugg track's photography's impact on the formation of self-image through the study of four literary autobiographers.
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Genre/Form: Aufsatzsammlung
Named Person: Mark Twain; August Strindberg; Walter Benjamin; Christa Wolf; Christa Wolf; Walter Benjamin; August Strindberg; Mark Twain; Christa Wolf; Mark Twain; August Strindberg; Walter Benjamin; Christa Wolf; Mark Twain; Christa Wolf; Walter Benjamin; August Strindberg; Walter Benjamin; August Strindberg; Mark Twain; Christa Wolf
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Linda Haverty Rugg
ISBN: 0226731464 9780226731469 0226731472 9780226731476
OCLC Number: 36225291
Description: x, 286 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Contents: I. Illumination and Obfuscation: Mark Twain's Photographic Autobiography --
II. Photographing the Soul: August Strindberg --
III. The Angel of History as Photographer: Walter Benjamin's Berlin Childhood around 1900 --
IV. The Lost Photo Album of Christa Wolf's Patterns of Childhood.
Responsibility: Linda Haverty Rugg.
More information:

Abstract:

As Linda Haverty Rugg persuasively shows, photography's double take on self-image mirrors the concerns of autobiographers, who see the self as simultaneously divided (in observing/being) and unified by the autobiographical act. Rugg track's photography's impact on the formation of self-image through the study of four literary autobiographers.

Obsessed with self-image, Mark Twain and August Strindberg attempted (unsuccessfully) to integrate photographs into their autobiographies. While Twain encouraged photographers, he was wary of potential fakery. Strindberg, believing that photographs had occult power, preferred to photograph himself. Because of their experiences under National Socialism, Walter Benjamin and Christa Wolf feared the dangerously objectifying power of photographs and omitted them from their autobiographical writings.

Yet Benjamin used them in his photographic conception of history, and Wolf's narrator in Patterns of Childhood tries to reclaim her childhood from the Nazis by reconstructing mental images of lost family photographs. Confronted with multiple and conflicting images of themselves, all four of these writers are torn between the knowledge that texts, photographs, and indeed selves are haunted by undecidability and the desire for the returned glance of a single self.

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Primary Entity

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