Flusser and the Polish (Photography) Novels
Reading Polish photographic novels through Flusser presents an expression that metaphorically depicts the principal aim of this essay. Vilém Flusser’s Towards a philosophy of photography is one of the crucial theoretical texts for current work in the field of comparative literature. Flusser’s theories are key for understanding the phenomenon of intermediality, which consists of the relations between photography and literature. This essay explains why, how, and in which type of novels Flusser’s theory is sustainable and relevant for intermedial analysis. Two Polish novels were chosen for this interpretation: “Pamiętnik diabła” by Irek Grin and “Fototerapia” by Katarzyna Sowula. The novels reflect on Flusser’s concepts in several ways, as well as on the analysis of the problems of photographic ethics and aesthetics involved in their narration. In the essay, Markowska focuses on the following issues present in the narratives of the novels: a photographer as literary character, ethical responsibilities of documentary photography, the book as a new medium, that is, the textual and visual reproduction of images within the literary art work. The analytical part is preceded by a theoretical introduction explaining Flusser’s photographic theory and the philosopher’s dialogue with ideas by Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes.
O vídeo como representação da vida: por prisioneiros do Carandiru
This article is based on the 2006 Masters Thesis by the author, presented to the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais to obtain the Masters Degree in Social Communication. It analyzes the consequences of the production of technical images for the knowledge of daily life, understood as "life-world," a concept developed by Schütz and Luckmann. Although Flusser argues that technical images possess the potential to transform knowledge (epistemology) as well as models of behavior (ethics) and experience (aesthetics) in daily life, technical images are analyzed here from the epistemological point of view. The analysis of spatial, temporal and social arrangements made by Schütz's approach to social science allows the identification of immutable aspects of existence. These aspects are then applied to the life-world construed intersubjectively by the prisoners of the Carandiru’s prison in São Paulo, as well as described in images and utterings made by two prisoners, during one night in a prison cell.