Reading/Developing Images: Baudelaire, Benjamin, and the Advent of Photography
This article reassesses Charles Baudelaire's stance toward photography and investigates how the subject of photography is treated by him poetically. Reading the prose poems "Les Fenêtres" and "Mademoiselle Bistouri," it argues that Baudelaire was highly concerned with the question of reading images and discusses the importance of captions in the age of technological reproducibility, with reference to Walter Benjamin's essay on photography. The article further discusses Benjamin's method. Investigating his use of photographic imagery, it shows that the question of reading images in Benjamin's writings is laid out both in terms of photography and in terms of allegory.