You Can Pay Me Later: Husserl on Images.

Well, you will be surprised. I was.

Up till a month ago I had no idea that Edmund Husserl has written much about images. Not to speak about photography. Until I had a closer look in my bookcase and found this book: Edmund Husserl: Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerungen, herausgeben von Eduard Marbach, Husserliana Band XXIII, Martinus Nijhoff, 1980.

I am ashamed that I have to admit that I have had this book since April 22, 1980. On the other hand it might have gained considerably in value since it is still in mint condition. I paid Deutsche Mark 255,00 for it at that time. And that is a small fortune. It is a brick on 724 pages written with an obscure philosophical pen. Husserl’s pen. The major parts of it dates about 100 years back. Don’t let that disturb you.

The good thing is, that is was translated (yes, it was) by John B. Brough in 2005 and published in a paperback edition by German publisher Springer. Goes by the title: Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory (1898 -1925). And it comes at a much better price. It’s a good read.

What is even better is that the book is absolutely amazing for anyone that intents to dig into the ontology of images and photography. So, it you plan to have a career as a university professor, or simply settle for a Ph.D., or have an interest in the arts in general, you should simply start with this book. It leaves Roland Barthes and Susan Sonntag in the back seat. Well almost. And it does so already a couple of pages into the book.

You should move NOW, since this book and this branch of research have hardly picked up yet. But it will. You could really take the drivers seat for a while even if it will probably leave you with a 700+ pages headache.

You don’t have to thank me for this recommendation now. You can pay me later. When I loaded both books to Library Thing a little while ago it turned out that I, so far, am the only one that have pointed to these books. And there are tons of books in there already. So the show is yours for the taking.

And as I said. You can pay me later, but if you are into this area either as a researcher, a student or just out of plain interest: GO FOR IT. I will – with some delay 🙂

You will find the precise references to both the original version from 1980, and to the translation from 2005 by following the links. Both ways you are in for a brick of pages.

NB: When you are done with Husserl’s theory on images and photographs you could always send me a quick word as to why the image below might have a certain phenomenological affinity 🙂 And, add a bit of semiological and gestalt psychological analysis while you are at it.

Good luck with both the books, and the picture.

Berlin 2008. Museum Island.

All rights reserved.

Buy the English translation of Husserl’s work. Follow the link and support the site:
Phantasy, Image Consciousness, and Memory (1898-1925) (Husserliana: Edmund Husserl Collected Works)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s