Photo Collage Paola Rigamonti

Benjamin and Barthes: a silent dialogue

Visual culture is a complex phenomenon that can be approached through several perspectives. With A Little History of Photography and Camera Lucida, Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes respectively gave a relevant contribution to the debate about photography.  This writing draws a synthetic parallel between the two authors to highlight their surprising similarities.

A Little History of Photography was published for the first time in 1931 on the magazine “Die Literarische Welt” under the form of three different articles. There are several versions available in English: the quality of the translation varies sensibly from one another, not all of them carry the photographs, and in some of them “Short” replaces “Little” in the title.