Memory and Photography

| February 14, 2017

Lefcowitz, B. F. (2011). Memory and photography. Southwest Review , 96 (2), 231-239.

Questions to think about while reading:
1.    Consider the first two examples Barbara Lefcowitz gives in her essay.  Why do the memories not match the photographs? What is the difference between a memory in one’s mind and a photograph?

2.    Another example from Lefcowitz’s essay involves a memory of which she does not have a photograph. Yet, this memory resembles a photograph more than the others. Why? What makes the memory in question static?

3.    Lefcowitz uses terms such as “editing” and “photoshop of the mind” to describe what she does when she remembers something. What do such terms suggest about human memory?

4.    Why is the belief that “photography captures the reality pure and simple” (p. 236) a misconception, according to Lefcowitz?

Assignment Paper 4

Texts:

Lefcowitz, B. F. (2011). Memory and photography. Southwest Review , 96 (2), 231-239.

Gundersheimer, W. (2011). A mother’s secret. The American Scholar , 80 (4), 72-75.
Turkle, S. (2007). The secret power of things we hold dear. New Scientist , 194 (2607), 50-52.

In her essay “Memory and Photography,” Barbara F. Lefcowitz ponders on the differences between remembered experience and memories awakened by photographs. She says, “Despite their similarities, a memory and a photograph can clash, even contradict each other” (p. 238). Turkle and Gundersheimer also provide examples where the memory and photographs may be different. How do memories preserved in photographs or writing differ from memories of impressions and sensations? How do we fill in the gaps between memories that do not seem to add up?

In your fourth paper, explore the idea of “the photoshop of the mind” (p. 235) that Lefcowitz speaks about in her essay. Consider the differences between memory and photography, the possible falsifying of the lived moment in either of them, and the creative power of memory.

By now you know what to do to prepare your essay. Make sure you have a definite idea or direction before you start writing.

Your paper should be 4 pages (1000 words) or longer.

Mountain View

Category: Photography

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