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Essays by

Barrett Swanson

 

The Madison Reunion

The posters went up sometime in mid-April.

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Starving

It can be counted on that at some point during the discussion of Kafka, one of my students will mention the Kardashian family. The first time the conversation veered in this direction, I was somewhat baffled.

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Perilous Aesthetics

Images like Forman’s “Fire Escape Collapse” and Drew’s “The Falling Man” achieve what we might call an “accidental aesthetic brilliance,” since there was no way those photographers could have purposely stylized these photographs to achieve their most striking aesthetic attributes. … But at what point does the aesthetic excellence of the photograph eclipse the depicted event, or, worse, distract the viewer from inquiring into what happened?

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