Light writing & life writing : photography in autobiography / Timothy Dow Adams.

by Adams, Timothy DowLooking glass.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. ; University of North Carolina Press, [2000]Description: xxiv, 298 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780807847923; 0807847925; 9780807825136; 0807825131.Other title: Light writing and life writing.Subject(s): American prose literature -- 20th century -- Illustrations | American prose literature -- 20th century -- History and criticismLooking glass | Authors, American -- Biography -- Illustrations | Authors, American -- Biography -- History and criticismLooking glass | Autobiography -- Illustrations | AutobiographyLooking glass | Literature and photography -- United States
Contents:
Introduction: I Am a Camera -- Writing the Picture: Autobiographies with Few or No Photographs. Camera Obscura: Paul Auster. Sojourner Truth: Maxine Hong Kingston. Case History: Sheila Ortiz Taylor and Sandra Ortiz Taylor -- Collage: Autobiographies That Combine Words and Photographs. We Have All Gone into the World of Light: N. Scott Momaday. Available Light: Michael Ondaatje. A Life Lived like Water: Reynolds Price -- Picturing the Writing: Autobiographies by Photographers. Every Feeling Waits upon Its Gesture: Eudora Welty. Mirror without a Memory: Wright Morris. Still Life Writing: Edward Weston. Conclusion: We Are Not Our Own Light: Self-Portraiture and Autobiography.
Note: Bibliography: pages 267-290. - Includes index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 778.92 ADA (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 10/01/2022 54145559
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

On the surface, the use of photography in autobiography appears to have a straightforward purpose: to illustrate and corroborate the text. But in the wake of poststructuralism, the role of photography in autobiography is far from simple or one-dimensional. Both media are increasingly self-conscious, argues Timothy Adams, and combining them intensifies rather than reduces the complexity and ambiguity of each taken separately.



Focusing on works by Paul Auster, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sheila Ortiz Taylor, Sandra Ortiz Taylor, N. Scott Momaday, Michael Ondaatje, Reynolds Price, Eudora Welty, Wright Morris, and Edward Weston, Adams explores the ways in which text and image can interact with and reflect on one another. Photography may stimulate, inspire, or seem to document autobiography, he demonstrates, but it may also confound verbal narrative. Conversely, autobiography may mediate, motivate, or even take the form of photography. Because both media exist on the border between fact and fiction, Adams argues, they often undercut just as easily as they reinforce each other. Exploring the interrelations between photography and autobiography uncovers an inherent tendency in both to conceal as much as they reveal.

Bibliography: pages 267-290. - Includes index.

Introduction: I Am a Camera -- pt. I. Writing the Picture: Autobiographies with Few or No Photographs. 1. Camera Obscura: Paul Auster. 2. Sojourner Truth: Maxine Hong Kingston. 3. Case History: Sheila Ortiz Taylor and Sandra Ortiz Taylor -- pt. II. Collage: Autobiographies That Combine Words and Photographs. 4. We Have All Gone into the World of Light: N. Scott Momaday. 5. Available Light: Michael Ondaatje. 6. A Life Lived like Water: Reynolds Price -- pt. III. Picturing the Writing: Autobiographies by Photographers. 7. Every Feeling Waits upon Its Gesture: Eudora Welty. 8. Mirror without a Memory: Wright Morris. 9. Still Life Writing: Edward Weston. Conclusion: We Are Not Our Own Light: Self-Portraiture and Autobiography.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. xi)
  • Acknowledgments (p. xxiii)
  • Introduction: I Am a Camera (p. 1)
  • Part I. Writing the Picture: Autobiographies with Few or No Photographs
  • 1 Camera Obscura: Paul Auster (p. 25)
  • 2 Sojourner Truth: Maxine Hong Kingston (p. 40)
  • 3 Case History: Sheila Ortiz Taylor and Sandra Ortiz Taylor (p. 57)
  • Part II. Collage: Autobiographies That Combine Words and Photographs
  • 4 We Have All Gone into the World of Light: N. Scott Momaday (p. 81)
  • 5 Available Light: Michael Ondaatje (p. 103)
  • 6 A Life Lived like Water: Reynolds Price (p. 131)
  • Part III. Picturing The Writing: Autobiographies by Photographers
  • 7 Every Feeling Waits upon Its Gesture: Eudora Welty (p. 151)
  • 8 The Mirror without a Memory: Wright Morris (p. 176)
  • 9 Still Life Writing: Edward Weston (p. 205)
  • Conclusion. We Are Not Our Own Light: Self-Portraiture and Autobiography (p. 225)
  • Notes (p. 243)
  • Works Cited (p. 267)
  • Index (p. 291)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Adams explores the manipulation of truth and fiction in autobiographical photographic and written texts. He begins by examining autobiographies by Paul Auster, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Sheila and Sandra Ortiz Taylor, which use prose description in a photographic manner to flesh out personal and family history. In looking at works by N. Scott Momaday, Michael and Christopher Ondaatje, and Reynolds Price, the author discusses the varied and complicated relationships between words and images in terms of "collage." Adams then moves from a consideration of pastiche to an analysis of autobiographies by photographers. His reading of Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings (CH, Jul'84) recognizes the role a photographer's eye played in the formation of that writer, and he notes the thematic patterns repeated in Wright Morris's fiction, autobiographies, photo-texts, and photographs. Finally, he turns to Edward Weston, whose two-volume Daybooks, ed. by Nancy Newhall (1961; CH, Jul'67), mixes excerpts from his diary with his photographs. Adams devotes the conclusion to self-portraiture and its tendency, like autobiography's, to display and conceal. Here, Adams describes photographic work that bears comparison to or incorporates written forms--like the memoir, confession, and diary. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections supporting the study of autobiography. S. Vander Closter; Rhode Island School of Design

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Timothy Dow Adams, is professor of English at West Virginia University.

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