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Book Title: A Box of Photographs|
The author of the book: Roger Grenier
Edition: University of Chicago Press
Date of issue: March 18th 2013
ISBN 13: 9780226308319
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 587 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.9
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Most attempts to generalize about photography as a medium run up against our experience of the photographs themselves. We live with photos and cameras every day, and philosophies of the photographic image do little to shake our intimate sense of how we produce photographs and what they mean to us. In this book that is equal parts memoir and intellectual and cultural history, French writer Roger Grenier contemplates the ways that photography can change the course of a life, reflecting along the way on the history of photography and its practitioners. Unfolding in brief, charming vignettes, A Box of Photographs evokes Grenier’s childhood in Pau, his war years, and his working life at the Gallimard publishing house in Paris. Throughout these personal stories, Grenier subtly weaves the story of a lifetime of practicing and thinking about photography and its heroes—Henri Cartier-Bresson, Weegee, Alfred Eisenstaedt, George Brassaï, Inge Morath, and others. Adding their own insights about photography to the narrative are a striking range of writers, thinkers, and artists, from Lewis Carroll, Albert Camus, and Arthur Schopenhauer to Susan Sontag, Edgar Degas, and Eugène Delacroix. Even cameras themselves come to life and take on personalities: an Agfa accompanies Grenier on grueling military duty in Algeria, a Voigtlander almost gets him killed by German soldiers during the liberation of Paris, and an ill-fated Olympus drowns in a boating accident. Throughout, Grenier draws us into the private life of photographs, seeking the secrets they hold for him and for us. A valedictory salute to a lost world of darkrooms, proofs, and the gummed paper corners of old photo albums, A Box of Photographs is a warm look at the most honest of life’s mirrors.
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Read information about the authorRoger Grenier is a French writer, journalist and radio animator. He is Regent of the Collège de ’Pataphysique.
In his youth he lived in Pau, where his mother opened a shop selling glasses. During the war, Roger Grenier attended Gaston Bachelard's classes at the Sorbonne before actively participating in 1944 in the liberation of Paris. He joined Albert Camus in the newspaper "Combat" then in "France Soir". Journalist, he followed post-war trials which inspired his first essay in 1949 "Le Rôle d'accusé". Radio animator, writer for television and cinema, member of the Gallimard board, he is recipient of the "Grand prix de l'Académie française" awarded to him in 1985 for his whole work, more than thirty works at that moment, novels, including two best-sellers "Le Palais d'hiver" of 1965 and "Ciné-roman", Prix Femina in 1972, essays and memoirs. He is best known in the United States for his work "The Difficulty of Being a Dog" (Les larmes d'Ulysse), translated by Alice Kaplan. He is still writing and is a busy conference attendee, speaking about his works, literature, Gallimard, or his friends: Albert Camus and Brassaï.
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