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Photo-textsContemporary French Writing of the Photographic Image$
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Andrew Stafford

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310522

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846316128

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Found Family Photos: Voicing in Anne-Marie Garat's Essayism

Found Family Photos: Voicing in Anne-Marie Garat's Essayism

(p.55) Chapter 2 Found Family Photos: Voicing in Anne-Marie Garat's Essayism
Liverpool University Press

Anne-Marie Garat is a French prizewinning writer whose novels often involve photographers and film-makers. She has built a career around teaching photo-texts, has completed a trilogy of short texts on the image, and has conducted a survey of still life in photography. In 1994, while looking at a set of found family photographs from the first decades of the twentieth century, Garat wrote a commentary that uses ‘description’ as a point of departure. This chapter examines her Photos de familles, arguing that it is a work of non-fiction even if it deploys fictional techniques. Photos de familles explodes a set of found images into an essayism that takes up the wager: how to write a photograph without resorting to description. Garat's use of ‘prosopopée’ (or voicing) enables her to come up with an extraordinary commentary. Her essayism intercedes in the debates in the 1990s over ‘exclusion’ and takes part in a valorisation of the ‘forgotten’ of social history.

Keywords:   Anne-Marie Garat, essayism, photo-texts, photography, family photographs, Photos de familles, prosopopée, voicing, social history, commentary

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