Roland Barthes: La Chambre claire: note sur la photographie [Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography]

(2543 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

La Chambre claire, published in English as Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (trans. Richard Howard, New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), is the last book by Barthes to be published during his lifetime. At once a theoretical examination of the nature of photography, Camera Lucida is also a highly personal work of mourning. Barthes's mother, Henriette Barthes, died on October 25th 1977, and Barthes, who had lived with her for most of his life, lost his only permanent source of love. The work of mourning is a central feature of Camera Lucida and so cannot be missed by its readers. It should also be remembered, however, that as a gay man, the death of his mother (his father died before Barthes was a…

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Allen, Graham. "La Chambre claire: note sur la photographie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[, accessed 08 October 2015.]