Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Mother in the Age of Mechanical ReproductionPsychoanalysis, Photography, Deconstruction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elissa Marder

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240555

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240555.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 11 December 2018

Nothing to Say: Fragments on the Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Nothing to Say: Fragments on the Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

(p.149) EIGHT Nothing to Say: Fragments on the Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Elissa Marder

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the uncanny link between photography and the mother in Roland Barthes' final book Camera Lucida, asking why his reflections on the ontology of photography ultimately take the form of an autobiographical elegy to his dead mother. Barthes' text establishes a complex connection between the reproductive properties of photography and the death of his mother. Its language conceives of photography as a mechanical mother that mimes, distorts, and usurps the maternal function. The relationship between photography and the maternal function permeates all aspects of Barthes' discussions on photography beginning with his audacious axiom that in photography, the referent “adheres.” His conception of the corporeal status of the photographic referent ultimately leads him to conceive of photography as having a prosthetic maternal function: it endows the modern subject with a social, codifiable, collective body.

Keywords:   Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes, photography, umbilical cord, Latin, referent, stupid metaphysics, birth, prosthetic mother

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .