Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/05/14

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Subject: [Leica] Steve's Book
From: pklein at (Peter Klein)
Date: Wed May 14 05:00:14 2008

I need to chime in here too.

I received Steve's book, "I Never Wanted To Be Famous" a few weeks 
ago.  What with work and my recent newspaper writing, I didn't really have 
any time to think of anything to say that hasn't been said already.  But 
now I must at least put in my two cents.  So I'll just say that it's a 
beautiful--and heartrending--piece of work.  And I would feel that way even 
if (disclaimer) I didn't know Steve and like him.  :-)

We went for a walk right after Katya had looked through the book.  While we 
were walking, she said to me:  "You know, you can really tell that he's a 
special doctor.  Look at how those children look at him.  They don't make 
many doctors like that any more."

What she said.

I should also say that as I looked at Steve's book, the photographer-me 
faded into the background, and it was just the human-being-me who was 
observing. You know how it is when you practice an art form yourself--it's 
often very hard to suspend your critical facility.  Part of you is almost 
always analyzing, talking shop with yourself.  But every so often, 
something is just so wonderful that the internal critic shuts up and you 
just are one with the work.  I've had musical experiences like 
that--transcendent performances when I felt like the composer and the 
performers were speaking to me directly, without intervention.

I had that same sense with Steve's book--that the kids, and Steve, were 
speaking directly to me.  Through Steve, the kids were being their own 
witnesses.  Yes, good compositions and well-caught moments contribute to 
the effect, as does look of the B&W film, the Noctilux' selective focus and 
bokeh, blah blah blah.  But that's the medium. The message is that these 
kids are saying to us:  "I was here.  I got very sick and my doctors and 
nurses helped me. My family loved me. And it all mattered very much."

That message comes through loud and clear.  Thank you, Steve.


Replies: Reply from kididdoc at (Steve Barbour) ([Leica] Steve's Book)