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

 As Spectator I wanted to explore photography not as a question (a theme) but as a wound. 
 Not only is the Photograph never, in essence, a memory... but it actually blocks memory, quickly becomes a counter-memory. 
 How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond? 
 Formerly, the image illustrated the text (made it clearer); today, the text loads the image, burdening it with a culture, a moral, an imagination. 
 When we look at a photograph of ourselves or of others, we are really looking at the return of the dead. 
 Ultimately—or at the limit—in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. 
 In an initial period, photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. 
 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. 
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