Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ettlinger's Photos

I enjoyed this Millions piece about Marion Ettlinger's photographs of writers. Edan Lepucki gets the general feel of these photos right:

Her photos are black and white, with an antiquated vibe, as if we’d only recently progressed beyond Daguerreotypes. Her subjects look distinguished, serious, old fashioned.

It's a look that works well for Cormac McCarthy, Raymond Carver, or Alice Munro. But it's all wrong for George Saunders, Sherman Alexie, and Jhumpa Lahiri. It doesn't at all match the feel of their writing.

I guess my problem with Ettlinger, then, is that her style is her style. She remakes the writer in her image, instead of using photography to bring out the essence of the writer and the writer's work.

1 comment:

Brendan said...

and whose idea was it to make Ken Kesey's two props a parrot and a sledgehammer?