Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography Cover Image
By Roland Barthes, Richard Howard (Translator)
This book is harder to get and may take several weeks if available. Please email with questions.

Staff Reviews

Written after the death of Barthes' beloved mother, Camera Lucida is more than a treatise on photography. It's an analysis steeped in grief - precise, intimate, haunting. Barthes' language pulses with critical acuity and tenderness as he considers the subject, death, and that which "pricks" us. This book not only changed how I read - it redefined the way I see.

— Kristen


This personal, wide-ranging, and contemplative volume--and the last book Barthes published--finds the author applying his influential perceptiveness and associative insight to the subject of photography. To this end, several black-and-white photos (by the likes of Avedon, Clifford, Hine, Mapplethorpe, Nadar, Van Der Zee, and so forth) are reprinted throughout the text.

About the Author

Roland Barthes was born in 1915 and studied French literature and the classics at the University of Paris. After teaching French at universities in Romania and Egypt, he joined the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he devoted himself to research in sociology and lexicology. He was a professor at the College de France until his death in 1980.

Praise For…

"This is a great book--flawed, impossible, infuriating, and moving . . . but he has accomplished in this extraordinary book something finer than mere polemic. En route to his last painful discovery, Barthes takes the reader on an exquisitely rendered, lyrical journey into the heart of his own life and the medium he came to love, a medium that flirts constantly with the 'intractable reality' of the human condition."--Douglas Davis, Newsweek

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374521349
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Publication Date: May 1st, 1982
Pages: 119