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The Miracle of Analogy: or The History of Photography by Kaja Silverman


The Miracle of Analogy argues that photography originates in what is seen, rather than in the human eye or the camera lens, and that it is the world’s primary way of revealing itself to us.

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“The Miracle of Analogy” emerges as a luminous tome, the inaugural volume in a trinity of profound contemplations on the essence of photography. Here, within the pages of this seminal work, the author posits a radical thesis: that the genesis of photography lies not within the confines of the human eye or the mechanical lens, but rather in the very essence of the observed world itself. It is through this bold assertion that the true nature of photography is unveiled, revealing itself as the quintessential medium through which the world divulges its secrets to humanity.

Central to this groundbreaking exploration is the concept of analogy—a thread that weaves its way through the fabric of photographic ontology. Unlike mere indices or copies, the photographic image exists as a potent analogy, an ontological extension of its subject. It is this analogical essence that permeates every facet of photography, from the initial capture of light upon the negative to the proliferation of digital offspring in the contemporary age.

Moreover, “The Miracle of Analogy” illuminates photography’s inexorable march through the annals of time, from its humble origins in the pinhole camera to its contemporary manifestation in the digital realm. This evolutionary journey is not merely technological but also philosophical, architectural, and literary, as photography seeks out new kin and forms of expression.

Yet, perhaps most intriguingly, photography evolves in tandem with human consciousness, mirroring our historical epochs and responding to our ever-shifting perceptions. As we imbue photographic forms with meaning and subsequently strip them of their power, photography transcends, ever seeking new avenues of expression and revelation.

From the arcane depths of the camera obscura to the prophetic musings of Walter Benjamin, “The Miracle of Analogy” traverses the vast terrain of photographic history, casting its gaze primarily upon the fertile grounds of the nineteenth century and its contemporary progeny. It is a testament to the enduring power of analogy, illuminating the boundless potential of photography as a medium of revelation and transformation.

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Weight0.7 kg

The Miracle of Analogy: or The History of Photography, Part 1


Stanford University Press


Kaja Silverman

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ISBN/EAN        9780804793995