This is a landmark book, the first devoted solely to comparative analysis of the work of Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes on photography. Through meticulous research, Yacavone underlines the importance of the encounter between individual viewer and photograph. She shows how Benjamin’s and Barthes’s responses to particular photographic portraits of children—Kafka at six years of age for Benjamin, and Barthes’s mother as a small child in the Winter Garden photograph—are concerned with the centrality of the relation of the viewing self to the sitter, and with the ethical phenomena involved in the viewer’s response to a singular photographic image as regards the redemption of the unique represented other.
- Walter Benjamin
- Roland Barthes