Italo Calvino
[Writer, b. 1923, Santiago de la Vegas, Cuba, d. 1985, Siena, Italy.]

 Whatever person you decide to photograph, or whatever thing, you must go on photographing it always, exclusively, at every hour of the day and night. 
 Perhaps true, total photography, he thought, is a pile of fragments of private images, against the creased background of massacres and coronations. 
 The line between the reality that is photographed because it seems beautiful to us and the reality that seems beautiful because it has been photographed is very narrow. 
 Photography has a meaning only if it exhausts all possible images. 
 In the photograph we are looking at something that has been and is no longer there… 
 …the fixity of the image is death, hence our inner reluctance to be photographed, as well as our submission to it. 
 The close-up has no equivalent in a narrative fashioned of words. Literature is totally lacking in any working method to enable it to isolate a single vastly enlarged detail in which one face comes forward to underline a state of mind or stress the importance of a single detail in comparison with the rest. As a narrative device, the ability to vary the distance between the camera and the object may be a small thing indeed, but it makes for a notable difference between cinema and oral or written narrative, in which the distance between language and image is always the same. 
 Having exhausted every possibility at the moment when he was coming full circle, Antonino realised that photographing photographs was the only course that he had left—or, rather, the true course he had obscurely been seeking all this time. (Last line of the story “The Adventure of a Photographer”) 
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