Michal Sapir
Cryptography in Artificial Light:
Poe's Stories and Nadar's Stills

NOTES 1 Williams mentions Victor Hugo's Les Misérables as a typical example for this kind of epistemological framework. In the novel the setting of crucial events in the Parisian sewers serves as a metaphor for the author's belief that the foundational truth of the visible facade of cultural and historical events lies in their obscure and hidden interiors (46-47). Hugo was a close friend and political ally of Nadar's; Les Misérables was published in 1862, the same year Nadar first went underground. 2 A similar relinquishment of depth in favor of surface is described by Linda Nochlin in her essay on the representation of death in the second half of the nineteenth century. Following the "isolation of the fact of death from a context of transcendental significance or value" (64), artists concentrated on "the sheer phenomenology of dying" (60), because "the reduction of the vertical significance of death requires an expansion of its horizontal circumstantiality" (66).