Phoebus Apollo's Complaint
Photography, Technology, Light, Comparative Philology, Commerce, Aesthetics
Written from the perspective of a hybrid deity, taking its name from both the Greek and Roman gods of the sun, the narrator criticises the tiring uses to which he has been put by the photographic pioneers, William H F Talbot and Louis J M Daguerre. Complains that, owing to the 'Portrait Painting', 'positives and negatives, collodion and albumen' and the number of professional photographic firms, he has not had a moment to himself. Noting his former status as 'Patron of the fine Arts', resents the grubby, day-long and humiliating practices of photography, and the fact that he can no longer choose his sitters and has to put up with nobodies: hence he grumbles that the world seems to be putting the 'carte before the ass'. Concludes by lamenting the fact that, thanks to photography, he has to rob people's 'privacy' and their 'joys and griefs'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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