Words That Helped

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Steidl, 2023. First edition.
Clothbound hardcover, 368 pp., 20 b/w illustrations, 140 x 210 mm. 

This volume is a personal compilation of quotations that have played a vital role in orienting Robert Adams' life as a photographer. Copied down in private notebooks collected over six decades and now edited for the general reader, this meditative tapestry of words addresses the question: “What are the facts of our situation, and how might we respond?” From poets, novelists and songwriters to painters, photographers and more, the book features quotations from a revealing array of historic and contemporary figures including Diane Arbus, Ingmar Bergman, Paul Cézanne, Emily Dickinson, Dag Hammarskjöld, Dorothea Lange, Fran Lebowitz and Alfred Stieglitz. Adams has grouped these quotations into sections that correspond to the larger motifs in his œuvre, such as “Walking,” “Night” and “Long Views.” Taken together, they suggest the lineaments of an autobiography, one aimed at helping others by means of lived experience recorded in words.

 


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