Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Malta 1946 Observation Perception Literature

On his return home to Palestine after serving in the British Army my father snapped this photograph of the ramparts of  Malta in 1946.  Many years ago I looked at it once and it remained in my memory. However I could not locate it among the hundreds of prints that we possesses.  Recently I found this six by six contact print and as I was scanning it, I discovered why I was drawn to it the first time I saw it. When we travel and reach a new location in many instances our vision is sharp and we capture in our minds particular frames of scenery.  It seems that points of departure and arrival are particular catalysts for such visual "frames".  In my mind this particular photograph simulates successfully such visual frame of travel and connects to thousands of such frames that are stored in our minds.  A poignant point or a punctum here, the high resolution scan reveals white silhouette of a man on a small boat, probably fishing.  This add something to the a somewhat surreal feeling we can connote to this photograph and maybe we can realize how this visual scene would be a fortuitous beginning for a literary descriptive opening paragraph ( The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence  Durrell comes to mind)