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Atget: Photographe de Paris (Book on Books) Hardcover – February 1, 2009

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About the Author

EugEne Atget was born near Bordeaux, in France, in 1857, and was raised by an uncle from an early age after the deaths of his parents. He became a cabin boy and sailor, and traveled widely until 1879, when he entered the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris. He studied there for two years and worked as a minor actor for the next few years, during which period he devloped a relationship with the actress Valentine Delafosse, who later became his photographic assistant, and with whom he lived for the rest of his life. Unsuccessful as an actor and later as a painter, he finally picked up photography in 1898, at age 40. Over the next 30 years, using obsolete equipment (an 18 x 24 cm bellows camera, rectilinear lenses, a wooden tripod, and a few plate holders), he made over 10,000 photographs of the daily appearance of a rapidly changing Paris. Most of these were sold as documents to libraries and museums, as well as to artists, stage designers, and interior decorators. Perhaps it was not until 1926, when Man Ray published a few of Atget's photographs in the magazine La rEvolutions surrEaliste, that his work began to be appreciated as art. Atget died one year later, but the appreciation of his work has only grown exponentially since.

David Campany is a writer, artist, and lecturer of photography at the University of Westminster, London. He is the author of many articles on contemporary art and photography. His book Art and Photography was published by Phaidon Press in 2003. He is also a cofounder of Photoforum, an organization bringing together artists and writers working with the photographic image.

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Product Details

  • Series: Book on Books
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Errata Editions (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193500400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935004004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Murphy on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I first heard about this series of books, I thought it was a great idea. I collect photography books, but this particular book is out of my price range. I have many Atget books and thought it would great to have a reprint of his first book. Atget is one of my favorites, and the photos in this volume are some of his classics.

My problem with this book is how the publisher has elected to reproduce the original. The publisher's own description of the book in the pre-publication advertising states "Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork .." What the don't say is that the majority of this reprint has four pages reproduced on each page, and two of those pages are blank. If you can imagine photocopying a book that has a photo on one page and a blank page opposite, then reducing that to fit two of these two-page spreads on a single page in this book, you will have an idea of what they've done.

This new reprint is a small volume to begin, measuring only 7 inches wide by 9 1/2 inches tall. A full page reproduction of an original page measures 6 1/2 x 8, but that includes the border, so the actual full-page image is only 5 x 6 1/2 inches. And remember, the facing page is blank. If the entire volume was done this way, I would be perfectly pleased, but there are only 19 full-page reproductions.

The rest of the book consists of 76 very small (2 3/8 x 3 inch) reproductions, all but three printed two per page, complete with the same size reproduction of the original page's blank facing page. The photos are still great, but my old eyes would have been much happier if the reproductions were all full page.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Klug on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Errata Edition's volume on the great photography book Phtographe De Paris is a book that I strongly recommend to lovers of photography. It is not a large, expensive volume which simply reproduces the original, and I suspect was not intended at all to be this, but it is an affordable reference work which I think others will get as much pleasure from as I do. The first part of the book reproduces the book of photographs, in a small size but very clearly, and this is followed by an original essay, which is full of information about Atget, the book itself, photography, these photographs, their content and their place in photography. This is a book that you can enjoy and learn from, at a price that will not set you book. It is a book that you will want to keep and return to. I am grateful that people who obviously love photography have made a lot of effort to share this with us. This and the other three books presently in the series are keepers in my opinion
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By josh black on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The errata books on books series, as I understand it, are re-productions of important, out-of-print, rare - and therefore expensive - photobooks. I've spent some time with the first four, and they are done with intelligence, care, and seemingly with love for the work. Of course there's no substitute for the original editions, but that's sort of the point. The idea is to take each first edition seriously as a work of art, treat it with deference, make the work available to a wider audience, and add something to the mix in the form of a new essay and background information. Taking this first batch as indicative, there will be no fluff in this series -- the first four choices are powerful and interesting, both individually and in combination. Don't misunderstand: if you're considering selling your car and using the money to buy first editions of In Flagrante, Fait, etc. and a bicycle, well, that just might be a wise move and I admire you. Probably I should do exactly that. Until then, we're fortunate to have these books, and I look forward to more.
For what it's worth, you don't have to take my word: Parr & Badger each mentioned errata books on their `best of 2008' lists.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Besom on February 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful idea. I've never seen Atget's "Photographe de Paris" but have heard it talked about for years, seen a page here or there or the cover reproduced in catalogs but I've never been able to get a full sense of the book, the flow of imagery, never been able to grasp why it was held in such high regard. So it's nice to finally have a reference tool to give me an idea of what the fuss is all about.

Needless to say, this is not a facsimile--it is not a "Second Edition"--it reproduces the entire book, cover to cover, and so the images of the spreads of the book are not at the original size. But it gives me a good enough taste that I can at least talk about it intelligently.

Beyond that, the essays are excellent at putting the book in context and the bibliographic info is fascinating. Given the price of photography books these days I was suspicious that the price for the Errata Editions books meant a low production job. So I was pleasantly surprised at how well printed it was and at how much care went into the scans and reproductions.

All around, I'm impressed and happy with this book and the other three in the series.
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