Ghost Image


Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
5.26 X 8.12 X 0.46 inches | 0.46 pounds

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About the Author

Hervé Guibert (1955-91) was born and worked in Paris. A noted photographer, he also contributed articles on culture to the French newspaper Le Monde and wrote works of fiction and books on photography. Robert Bononno is a freelance translator who lives in New York.


"Why has no thoughtful publisher translated and published all of Guibert's works, in trim editions, each cover graced with his seraphic image? . . . To get Guibert's full message, which isn't light-years apart from Susan Sontag's and Frank O'Hara's New York-based credos (pay attention, live as variously as possible) but that chose for its transmission not the lyric or the essay but the autofiction, the fragmentary self-articulation, casual as a snapshot, would involve questioning straitened notions of what constitutes a polished piece of writing, or a life's work, or an autobiography, or a sexuality, or a successful venture--and learning, instead, to appreciate the cadences of catastrophe, of self-excavating improvisation, and of unknowingness. Futility and botched execution are the immortal matter of Guibert's method. Futility and botched execution--combined, in Guibert's work, with finesse, concision, and a heavy dose of negative capability, which includes curiosity about the worst things that can befall a body--are undying aesthetic and spiritual values, worth cherishing in any literature we dare to call our own."--Wayne Koestenbaum "Bookforum "
"'Photography is also an act of love, ' Guibert begins Ghost Image, his memoir and love letter to the medium written shortly before his death of AIDS. . . . It's an intriguing first sentence for the implicit suspicion that we think of photography as an act of something else. Hatred, resistance, change. Did Guibert mean that photography was an act of love for the one who snaps the shutter, or, too, for those who view the image?"--Zack Hatfield "Los Angeles Review of Books "
"Ghost Image is essential Guibert--an artist's penetrating look at his own profession and obsessions. It is animated and validated by prickly sensations and thrusts of thought that occur during composition--an accomplished photographer's narrative that exists thanks to the virtuous failures of photos."--Ron Slate "On the Seawall "
"Such a beautiful book."--Sacha Burrows, photographer "Noctis "
"[One of] my favorite books."--Kate Zambreno, author of "O Fallen Angel" and "Green Girl" "Book Culture Blog "
"Excellent examples of Hervé Guibert's talent and style. A French writer and photographer who died from AIDS in 1991 at the age of 36, Guibert drew much of his work from his own life and his love of photography. He was especially interested in the surprising effects photographs can produce on people, not just on the subject and observers but also on the photographer as well."--Charles Green "Gay & Lesbian Review / WORLDWIDE "
"Can you share a list of the things that are currently inspiring you? Current book: Hervé Guibert, Ghost Image."--Daniel Boyd-Barrett, Urban Outfitters Men's Concept Designer "Urban Outfitters Blog "
"Guibert's rhythmic descriptions of his relationship to images at various stages of his life manage to convey the transience of life and memory that the photographer is always struggling to overcome. . . . A lyrical, elegiac celebration of the medium and its implications--a provocative and highly original investigation."--Kirkus
"Quick, candid, and exquisitely felt."--Publishers Weekly