For All The Secret Reasons

Return To The Beloved Image

“Why did you photograph me so much?”

“I don’t have the impression that I photographed you a great deal. I certainly photographed you less than I wanted to. Besides, I don’t know why I photograph you. Maybe because I can’t caress you, but I never even asked to caress you.”

“The idea makes me shudder.”

“You see, its easier to ask to take your picture than to ask to caress you. I photograph you as if I were stocking up on you, in anticipation of your absence. These pictures are like pledges, or bonds, for my desire: I don’t even know if I’ll ever print them, but if one day, because I am in love, your absence becomes unbearable to me, I know that I’ll be able to turn to this little roll of film and develop your image, and caress you, but without making you shudder, or casting a spell on you. They say that if you want to make someone who is stubborn fall in love with you, all you have to do is surreptitiously put an apple stuck with clover under their bed and let it rot there. A photograph works the same way, like a spell I might cast on you. By taking your photograph, I can attach myself to you, make you a part of my life, assimilate you. And you can’t do anything about it.”

Translated from French, Ghost Image by Hervé Guibert

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