Maggie Humm

Maggie Humm helps illuminate the way Virginia Woolf utilizes photography in Three Guineas, and I found her analysis particualrly insightful, especially with the inital highligting of specularity. In combining two perspectives of memory through photographs, both private and public, I can see how that combination would invoke a deepened sense of empathy from the audience. Humm references the depiction of deceased children in one of the absent photgraphs in Three Guineas, including a quote from Woolf in regards to it which reads, "those photographs are not an argument; they are simply a crude statement of fact addressed to the eye" (201). I felt that this was particularly powerful, and I looked at it a little differently after Humm's reading of it. Of all the pacifist literature that exists, a lot of really good and powerful literature, I think images will always just pull at readers differently, providing an added lens which won't be overlooked. For me, I find images of anything harmful or sad in nature to be difficult to look at, and I often try not to do so unless I have to. However, I do think that Woolf did a great job of appealing to the raw humanity of the audience, and I see its importance in general, especially as a statement which touches on anti-war sentiments. Even though this was more of an image description than an outright visual, readers can still picture it well. It still invokes pain and a sense of grief. It does not require extensive explanation, it just speaks for itself. I'm interested in learning more about the other functions this absence of photos has. This idea of memory being captured through photos, and creating a moment which just hangs in time as a still, could also be viewed as modernist in the sense that it also has that sense of urgency and temporality to it. Although the photos are portraying the past, they're able to exist in the now as people view them. They're consequential. I'm interested in the discussion of memory as it relates to photographs and image descriptions.