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Representation and “failure”

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by cLeave a Comment

To capture by words.   To capture by photography.   What do these words invoke?   James Agee,  in his personal account,  or preamble,  to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,  expresses a sense of deep unease and unrest,  even rage,  at the apparatus of what is the camera,  or more precisely,  what the photograph seeks to capture,  represent,  tell,  and most problematically, …

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To Be Famous And Normal

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by RichardLeave a Comment

Possibly the most interesting part about “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” is the premise that it was constructed under.  “The effort is to recognize the stature of a portion of unimagined existence, and to contrive techniques proper to its recording , communication, analysis, and defense. More essentially, this is an independent inquiry into certain normal predicaments of human divinity” …

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Weaponless Consciousness

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Freddy LeivaLeave a Comment

I found the style in which Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is written particularly interesting, especially in contrast with everything we’ve read so far. Agee packs each sentence with gargantuan details and emotions—sometimes even difficult to keep up with. There’s a description in the introduction that pretty much sums up his way of writing, it says:  “He talked his …

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Self-Conscious Exposition of Suffering

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by GretaLeave a Comment

James Agee stresses that he and Walter Evans are extremely self-conscious about their task. In introducing Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, he speaks of their work as “curious…obscene and thoroughly terrifying” because they are being assigned to pry into suffering families’ troubled lives and “[parade] the nakedness, disadvantage and humiliation of these lives before another group of human beings” (7). …

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Intimacy and Its Effects

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Ellis2 Comments

James Agee is deliberate. His writing is sharp, if not a bit self-conscious and wandering. His sentences occupy entire pages. Paragraphs seem never ending. He’s self deprecating—warning us before the text has even properly begun that, “if I could do it, I’d do no writing at all here. It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth, bits …

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Is It Raw Enough?

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Kira Williams1 Comment

Is Agee telling us to deal with his and Evans’ content in interpretive ways, and not take it too seriously? Even though the descriptions of these three families are not weighed down with supposed and inferred meaning, and the photographs are supposed to be clear, true records, Agee wants his readers to read as “journalists, sociologists, politicians, entertainers, humanitarians, priests, …

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Immediacy

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Karishma Sonde1 Comment

When reading Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, I was struck by the style of writing against the images. The writing itself is thick and heavy, contrasting with a lot of what we’ve read so far—especially Waiting for Nothing, which was short, concise, and repetitive. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is full of punctuation, with long winding sentences stuffed …

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Old Friends

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Nancee1 Comment

I was really surprised by the casual style employed by Agee in his writing. His stories read more like letters or journal entries. The way he specifically wrote addressing the characters he met really struck me. In relation to You Have Seen Their Faces, I was struck by the unapologetic force of showing these people to the public. However, Agee’s …

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The Relationship Between Writer and Subject

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Lauren Barbarossa1 Comment

While reading Evan’s text I noticed the focus on how truly odd it is that these people were being studied during the depression in photo form. The text describes it as, “prying intimately into the lives of an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings,” (Evans). This quotation is from a paragraph that really centers in on how journalism …

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The Dust Bowl

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Vinay Menda1 Comment

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is a sort of photojournalistic book written by James Agee and photographed by Walker Evans about the lives of sharecroppers (An agricultural system where farm owners rent out their land to tenants for a share of the crops that are farmed) in the southern United States during the 1930’s. This was an extremely hard …

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And Our Fathers That Begat Us

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by John CarpentierLeave a Comment

Observing these collections of photography and writing from this time period, I find myself incredibly intrigued not only by the mercurial relationship between image and text, but the author’s ability to take a straightforward journalistic (or governmental in the case of Bourke-White, Caldwell, etc.) assignment, and turn it into a representation of the time period that would endure for decades …

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The Narrator & the Narrated

In Agee-Evans, The Travel Habit Fall 2014 by Francesca1 Comment

From reading the first few pages of James Agee and Walker Evan’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, I was thoroughly impressed by the author’s acknowledgement of Agee’s own struggle in portraying the people he has met in the South through his writing and Evan’s in his photography. Agee and Evans are very aware and conscious creators, of writing, of art …