Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - LetUsNowPraiseFamousMen 06:53

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men 06:53 aYet the book is far more interesting--aesthetically and morally--than the sort of  guilty-liberal tract for which it is often mistaken. On an existential level, Agee's  text is a deeply felt examination of what it means to suffer, to struggle to live in  spite of suffering. On a personal level, it is the painful, beautifully written portrait  of one man's obsession. In its collaboration with Evans's photographs, the book  is also a groundbreaking experiment in form. In the end, however, it is more than  merely the sum of its parts. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is, quite simply, a  book unlike any other, simmering with anger and beauty and mystery In Agee’s seminal work, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, he illustrates the ambiguous correlation between memory and fiction: "When, in talk with a friend, you tell him, or hear from him, details of childhood, those details are perhaps even more real to you than in your solitary memory; and they are real and exciting to both of you in a way no form of art can be, or anyhow is. He is accepting what you say as truth, not fiction. You in turn, and the truth you are telling, are conditioned in some degree by his personality – you are in part, and he knows you are in part, selecting or inventing toward his color – but your whole effort, at which you both may be willing and interested to spend a great deal of time, is to reduce these half-inventions more and more towards the truth." (212) Once we, as individuals, attempt to explain our past experiences in the present we are, subconsciously, redefining our past in light of the present. Agee describes his difficulty in documenting anthropological subjects as a "truth" or a "history" because of a human being’s ever changing understanding of history. He articulates the transformation of history through a description of the past. As such, memory is not a constant, but rather a variable of "truth." A remembrance creates a bridge between the past and the present.
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Candid shots were not to be achieved at the cost of shaming the families  beyond the shame they already felt. It was for Evans' honesty with the camera  that Agee respected him, and for her photographic tricks that he despised the  famous photographer Margaret Bourke-White. The placement of Evans' photographs within
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2012 for the course AMCULT 231 taught by Professor Vicentem.diaz during the Fall '05 term at University of Michigan.

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - LetUsNowPraiseFamousMen 06:53

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