Ayez-vous La Chambre Claire?
June 10, 2007 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Does the original French version of Camera Lucida have captions beneath the photographs, or are they added in the English translation? Also, are the photographs interspersed with the text in the French edition, or are they given a page to themselves as they are in the English one?
posted by felix grundy to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
You might find the answer in Jay Prosser's great essay on Camera Lucida in his book Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss. Even if the chapter doesn't have specific information about the captions, it's worth checking out.
posted by umbú at 10:42 AM on June 10, 2007

c bien "avez-vous" n'est-ce pas ? (not that my grammar is so good, it isn't.. )

au fait c bien possible que j'en ai une, attendez, j'vais effectuer une recherche
posted by citron at 11:01 AM on June 10, 2007

Sorry, can't find it! I know I had an excerpt in a course packet but don't seem to have the packet here..
posted by citron at 11:08 AM on June 10, 2007

Damn. Don't suppose you remember whether it did anyway, Citron?

aussi—I thought perhaps the subjunctive would be appropriate, since I doubt the existence of someone who both owns the French edition and is scanning AskMe on Sunday afternoon. It doesn't seem impossible, just unlikely.

umbú, I'll try to check that out; my library claims to have an electronic edition but is giving me guff about accessing it.
posted by felix grundy at 11:41 AM on June 10, 2007

No, I don't recall.. but now I'm curious myself! I have access to a lot of library databases at my work, so I'll check tomorrow.. my cinema texts seem to have disappeared. I found a bunch of Barthes extraits but not that one!

Subjunctive? it is? another thing that's going to bother me now, it still intuitively sounds like an odd construction, but again I don't know.. maybe if i were being hyper polite it would be "pourriez-vous m'aider a.." :)
posted by citron at 1:17 PM on June 10, 2007

No, subjunctive is wrong. It has to be "avez."
posted by languagehat at 2:38 PM on June 10, 2007

Okay, serves me right for trying to use it, I suppose. It sounded intuitively wrong to me, too, but why is it wrong?

Sadly, I am approaching the point where I can only translate French and not compose proper sentences.

At least my doubt seems correct so far. Cold comfort, that.
posted by felix grundy at 2:43 PM on June 10, 2007

why is it wrong?

Because that's not where you use the subjunctive in French. You use it in counterfactuals and after certain verbs, but not in plain old questions.
posted by languagehat at 2:50 PM on June 10, 2007

What about, "Est-ce-qu'il y a quelqu'un qui ait La chambre claire?"
posted by felix grundy at 2:58 PM on June 10, 2007

No.. That sounds like it is missing something. "qui ait lu" or " qui ait achete" (apologies for leaving out proper accent marks) - this is grammatically proper (I think! languagehat please correct me if I'm wrong). But it seems.. oddly anglophone to frame a question with extraneous information..

I feel like in English we are more accustomed to toning down the directness of a request for politeness' sake but in French it's not expected, it is generally OK to be more direct. I think I would say "Est-ce qu'il y a qqun qui a un exemplaire de "La Chambre Claire" de Barthes ? Je veux juste verifier qqch.." or "je voudrais juste verifier" if you want to be extra polite..
posted by citron at 4:51 PM on June 10, 2007

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