Thoughts on “The Thing Itself”

The difference between the subject in a photograph and the photograph itself is that they are two separate different ideas of reality. In the passage, it states that “the factuality of [the photographer’s] pictures, no matter how convincing and unarguable, was a different thing than the reality itself.” This can be interpreted as the subject changing overtime after the photo is taken, while the photograph itself stays the same, and serves as a memory. The photograph is shown to be more important than the thing, or subject, itself because it shows off a certain impact when the photo was taken, and leaves a lasting memory on certain people. Moreover, in the passage, William M. Ivins, Jr. states that “at any given moment, the accepted report of an event is of greater importance than the event, for what we think about and act upon is the symbolic report and not the concrete event itself.” This shows that when viewing a photograph, we think about it more than the actual event itself, and also view it as the whole event itself.

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