03 August 2009

photography books

I finished Richard Powers' Three Farmers on the Way to a Dance, based on an August Sander photograph from just before WWI (see Getty collection). It goes without saying really, that it is a wonderful book--in part he does what I do for a living (close readings of photographs/images etc.) but since he's a novelist he gets to spin out the stories he sees in the work. What's wonderful about the book is that he gets photography: photographs are stories, are histories, are moments that spin out both backwards and forwards in time, producing an eerie simultaneity.

I thought, therefore: wouldn't it be fabulous to teach a course on photography through novels? Three Farmers, of course, and then also Rushdie's Ground Beneath Her Feet, which despite being about music was also, at base, about a photograph, its photographer, and immortality. Other suggestions?

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