June 1, Barthes: Who is Like What?

 “If my efforts are painful, If I am anguished, it is because sometimes I get closer, I am burning: in a certain photograph I believe I perceive the lineaments of truth. This is what happens when I judge a certain photograph “a likeness”. Yet on thinking it over, I must ask myself: Who is like what? Resemblance is a conformity, but to what? To an identity. Now this identity is imprecise, even imaginary, to the point where I can continue to speak of “likeness” without ever having seen the model.”

-Roland Barthes

 Camera Lucida

2 responses to “June 1, Barthes: Who is Like What?”

  1. But more insidious, more penetrating than likeness: the Photograph sometimes makes appear what we never see in a real face …

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    1. Yes, I think that Barthes alludes to that in his use of “likeness”.

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