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See/Saw Reviews

See/Saw by Geoff Dyer


Looking at Photographs

Geoff Dyer

Score pending

1 review

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Canongate Books Ltd
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication date: 15 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781838852092

A full-colour illuminated history of how photographs frame and change the world, from the award-winning author of The Ongoing Moment

4 stars out of 5
Tim Adams
19 Apr 2021

"In these seductively curious essays, Dyer scrutinises images and photographers, unearthing hidden truths and a sense of the uncanny"

Dyer has achieved that rare elevation as an essayist that allows him to demand all his published thoughts be preserved between hard covers. Some of the pieces here were initially written as columns, others are reviews or introductions to catalogues (he mourns a lone essay that could not be included because of difficulties of formatting). Many of the shorter observations are taken from a weekly series that he wrote for the New Republic magazine in which he chose a picture from that week’s papers – Serena Williams hitting her otherworldly forehand or Oscar Pistorius in tears in the dock ­– and riffed on its significance. Though the comprehensive nature of this enterprise means that some pieces inevitably feel more finished, or more attended to, than others, it’s a testament to Dyer’s seductive curiosity that even these slighter improvisations reward rereading.