I recently revisted Barthes’ Camera Lucida. I do enjoy a spot of Barthes, though I don’t claim to have a big-picture view of his work yet. (One can always dream.)
In Camera Lucida, he wrestles with ideas of death and immortality in relation to art and, specifically, photography. It’s relatively easy reading for such a big topic, and it’s written in a contemplative, conversational tone, with pictures to boot:
I say to myself … how barbaric it is not to believe in souls – in the immortality of souls. What a stupid form of truth materialism is.
I admit I am starting to wonder about these ageing academic types. Is there a tendency for the formerly scholarly type to wax increasingly lyrical as they progress down life’s pathway? Camera Lucida is certainly in Camp Lyrical.
I’m thinking also of my old pal (I wish) Zygmunt Bauman, whose work is becoming no less brilliant, but by far more lyrical as time passes.