"Memory is the primary Instrument, The Inexhaustible Nutrient Source": Remediations of Literary Romanticism in Sally Man's Family Photographs

E. Wesseling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It has been argued that Romantic images of childhood have disappeared from late twentieth-century culture, and that the innocent child of nature has made way for the "knowing child." However, if we go beyond pictorial traditions and include literary Romanticism, a caesura in the cultural construction of childhood becomes questionable. A close reading of Sally Mann's Immediate Family, an album of art photographs that have been proposed as crucial evidence of a break in the aesthetics and poetics of childhood, shows that the continuities between Mann's family photographs and the Romantic paradigm vastly outnumber the discontinuities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
JournalArcadia - International Journal for Literary Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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