This essay considers the history of photography in fiction, concentrating on issues of genre. Starting with a survey of nineteenth-century novels which included physical photographs, the essay moves to twentieth-century novels, discussing ways in which the generic rules of written narratives influence the relationship between word and image and the fictiveness of photographs within novels. Unlike earlier writers, who used photographs for illustration of place, postmodern novelists frequently use photographs as documentation, both in support of and in opposition to the written narrative. The last section of the essay uses W. G. Sebald's The Emigrants, an especially complicated novel which combines fiction and nonfiction, biography and autobiography, as a case study.
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Timothy Dow Adams; Photographs on the Walls of the House of Fiction. Poetics Today 1 March 2008; 29 (1): 175–195. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2007-022
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