The Singular Image in Durational Time

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Freud’s formal work on mourning would indicate that in order to be successful at it, you must detach from your cathexis to the loved object; yet he said to the poet Hilda Doolittle (and she writes this as an aside in a book written after her own analysis with the doctor [Tribute to Freud]) that he remembered the last war year very well (WW1), as that year he lost his favourite daughter, Sophie, to the Spanish flu epidemic, but that, in fact, she was not lost. ‘“She is here”,’ he said, and he showed me a tiny locket he wore, fastened to his watch chain.’ (HD 2012: 128)

The ‘blameless physician’ (as H.D. calls him) did not want to let go of Sophie and would have held a photograph in his hand many times every day as he checked the time, closed the locket, put it back into his pocket.

This paper investigates a social media site as that contemporary ‘pocket’ in which we might place a cherished photograph, thus the tension between the durational time of the artefact and the time(s)-in-motion of the networked image.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-97
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophy of Photography
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • facebook
  • family photography
  • photographic time/duration
  • Benjamin
  • Barthes
  • networked image


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