Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 The Photograph is violent: not because it shows violent things, but because on each occasion it fills the sight by force, and because in it nothing can be refused or transformed. 
 The photographic referent [is] not the optionally real thing to which an image or a sign refers but the necessarily real thing which has been placed before the lens, without which there would be no photograph. 
 How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond? 
 Ultimately—or at the limit—in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. 
 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
 A photograph is always invisible, it is not it that we see. 
 Pornography ordinarily represents the sex-organ, it makes it into an immobile object (a fetish), to which we burn incense, like a god that doesn’t leave its niche. 
 I passed beyond the unreality of the thing represented, I entered crazily into the spectacle, into the image, taking into my arms what is dead, what is going to die... 
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