Camera Obscura

Dark Gothic Sensuality
Contact Photography
Science and Art



About Camera Obscura:
Marx, Freud, Nietzsche--in vastly different ways all three employed the metaphor of the camera obscura in their work. In this classic book--at last available in an English translation--the distinguished French philosopher Sarah Kofman offers an extended reflection on this metaphor. She contrasts the mechanical function of the camera obscura as a kind of copy machine, rendering a mirror-image of the work, with its use in the writings of master thinkers.
In her opening chapter on Marx, Kofman provides a reading of inversion as necessary to the ideological process. She then explores the metaphor of the camera obscura in Freud’s description of the unconscious. For Nietzsche the camera obscura is a "metaphor for forgetting." Kofman asks here whether the "magical apparatus" of the camera obscura, rather than bringing about clarity, serves some thinkers as fetish. Camera Obscura is a powerful discussion of a metaphor that dominates contemporary theory from philosophy to film.