Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Errol Morris has a fascinating long post at the Times about two different versions of Roger Fenton's "The Valley of the Shadow of Death" photograph from the Crimean War. It's a rather gripping account in itself, but I'm especially interested because of the way it lays bare the work of investigation in an archive: normally this sort of work only shows up as a sentence or two in a footnote.

The question: which one of these two pictures came first, and which one is "staged"? It's a detective story, and a story about sloppy scholarship and the danger of making assumptions, and I love it...

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