On-Reading-Andre-Kertesz-004Blake Morrison writes about an exhibition of photos by Andre Kertesz depicting people reading. He writes: The act of reading involves no action, beyond turning the page. But the mental activity is intense, and it is this that fascinates Kertesz. 

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The photo above features a boy sitting in a New York doorway in 1944, amid a heap of newspapers left there to alleviate the wartime shortage… Times are hard yet the boy looks perfectly happy: amid the detritus he has found a page of comic strips.

In these pictures, there are people on an inner journey. Kertsez didn’t live to see the age of the internet or to hear the funeral rites for the age of print. .. The essential image is timeless: human interaction with the written word. The physical forms in which we receive the word may be changing. But even when ebooks and Blackberries have taken over, that central image will remain: a text held in the hand and a head bowed over it.

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I wish I’d heard about this before I went to London last week. It looks like a wonderful exhibition.


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