Stephen C. Pinson

  • “Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin”

    “I photographed whatever happened to catch my attention . . . any one of the thousands of chance events of everyday life,” wrote Brassaï in The Artists in My Life in 1982, at about the same time that Nan Goldin was prototyping the diaristic slide show that later became The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. A decade earlier, the posthumous monograph Diane Arbus had revealed the seldom-seen denizens of a world that moved in the same orbit as the secret Paris traversed by Brassaï in the 1930s and the louche haunts frequented by Goldin and her cohort in

  • Kaja Silverman’s Miracle of Analogy

    The Miracle of Analogy, or The History of Photography, Part I, by Kaja Silverman. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015. 240 pages.

    READERS FAMILIAR WITH the work of Kaja Silverman—the renowned theorist and self-described “hardcore cultural constructivist” who came to prominence in the 1980s and ’90s—might be surprised by the title of her latest book, not least because it apparently trucks in miracles. Equally unexpected is that Silverman, known for major texts addressing semiotics, linguistics, and psychoanalysis, has written the first of two volumes that proclaim to offer