- Purchase/rental options available:
This essay analyzes photographic portraits of Henry James and their significance to his autobiographies. James disliked photography as an aesthetic medium, but its complex referential status--a photograph testifies mostly to the passage of time (Barthes)--throws the autobiographer's task into relief. Seeing himself across the gulf of years, James must confront the image of his own body, and even his sexuality, subjects the autobiographies largely avoid.. Focusing on the Brady daguerreotype and a portrait from 1863, the essay shows how James uses the images to express feelings of exposure that connect his past and present.