The Ongoing Moment

“They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. 













Like a stain.” 

Do you know what Diane Arbus was referring to?  Photographs. 

I have suggested before that a book discussion on photography might be an interesting evening in a library.  There are a number of ways that this topic can be approached but my latest suggestion is the book The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer. 

Dyer has a very interesting approach to both the art of photography and its history.  The book abounds with great discussable quotes like this one from the author himself:  “This question of whether a photograph is defined by the person who took it or by what it is of is absolutely central to all discussions of the medium’s history.”  While Paul Strand believes they are “absolute unqualified objectivity,” Cartier-Bresson believes “they are only coincidences.”

Combining the discussion of this text with the images it discusses would make a fascinating evening for all.  I might just give it a try.



About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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