Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

thanks first to the University of Georgia Press for supporting a book about photography that not only doesn’t include images but doesn’t even refer to any. Nancy Grayson and Jon Davies at the press have been a pleasure to work with from first to last; heartfelt thanks to them, to copy editor Marlene Allen, and to my two anonymous...

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Introduction. “Likeness Men”: Fiction and Photography

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pp. 1-27

Two groups of young men—three Americans and three Mexicans— confront each other late one evening in an alley in Mexico City. One of the Americans has insulted one of the Mexicans. The only sober member of the American group, the New York Kid, stares at the aggrieved man...

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ONE: Nature Herself: Hawthorne’s Self-Representation

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pp. 28-70

With Louis Daguerre’s unveiling of the daguerreotype in January 1839, the dream of nature reproducing herself without the aid of human hand or eye seemed finally on the verge of being realized. Because the subject of the photograph seemed to emerge spontaneously— early operators of the daguerreotype, when the exposure...

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TWO: Resembling Oneself: James’s Photographic Types

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pp. 71-114

Admiring the Capitol building in 1905, Henry James noted that he had for company “a trio of Indian braves, braves dispossessed of forest and prairie.” The men were dressed, he recounts in The American Scene, “in neat pot-hats, shoddy suits, and light...

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THREE: Vanishing Race: Faulkner’s Photographic Face

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pp. 115-153

What is the role of photography in determining who people are in a society in which identity is fundamentally determined by blood? This question is surprisingly central, this chapter argues, to William Faulkner’s obsessive inventory of racial identity in the...

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FOUR: “Seeing Myself like Somebody Else”: Hurston’s Similarities

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pp. 154-198

I have been arguing that American fiction’s debt to the camera takes the form of a fascination with questions of resemblance, driven principally by the sense that in the photographic age everyone begins to look the same. It is time, however, to mark the limits to this...

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Conclusion. Likeness Has Ceased to Be of Any Help: Fiction and Film

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pp. 199-217

This book has argued that photography shaped American fiction not by offering novelists a model of faithful reproduction, but by offering them a language in which to record the increasing homogeneity of modern identity, a homogeneity that is itself the product....

Notes

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pp. 219-255

Bibliography

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pp. 257-275

Index

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pp. 277-287