[Writer, b. 1914, Brussels, Belgium, d. 1984, Paris, France.]
...to be only the lens of my camera, something fixed, rigid, incapable of intervention.
... in all ways when is one walking about with a camera, one has almost a duty to be attentive, to not lose that abrupt and happy rebound of sun’s rays off an old stone, or the pigtails-flying run of a small girl going home with a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk.
... remembering, that gloomy operation of comparing the memory with the gone reality; a frozen memory, like any photo, where nothing is missing, not even, and especially, nothingness, the true solidifier of the scene.
I’m such a jerk; it had never occurred to me that when we look at a photo from the front, the eyes reproduce exactly the position and the vision of the lens; it’s these things that are taken for granted and it never occurs to anyone to think about them.
... recover the keynote of distraction, the sight without a frame around it, light without the diaphragm aperture or 1/250 sec. Right now (what a word, now, what a dumb lie) I was able to sit quietly on the railing overlooking the river watching the red and black motorboats passing below without it occurring to me to think photographically of the scenes, nothing more than letting myself go in the letting go of objects, running immobile in the stream of time.
One of the many ways of contesting level-zero, and one of the best, is to take photographs, an activity in which one should start becoming adept very early in life, teach it to children since it requires discipline, aesthetic education, a good eye and steady fingers.
I raised the camera, pretended to study a focus which did not include them, and waited and watched closely, sure that I would finally catch the revealing expression, one that would sum it all up, life that is rhythmed by movement but which a stiff image destroys, taking time in cross section, if we do not choose the essential imperceptible fraction of it.