The Devil’s Dictionary of Photography

Another article written for On Landscape has just appeared. This takes its inspiration from the Devil’s Dictionary polished (between 1867 and 1911) by the American author Ambrose Bierce, and said to be one of the greatest works of American satire (an example: DISTANCE, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep). Bierce only mentions photography once in his dictionary (PHOTOGRAPH, n. A picture painted by the sun without instruction in art. It is a little better than the work of an Apache, but not quite as good as that of a Cheyenne – he was not at all politically correct!!), but it definitely seemed to warrant a dictionary of its own (after writing it I did find a couple of other examples online with just a few overlapping definitions). The article may be found here.

Ambrose Bierce: Author of the Original Devil’s Dictionary (or Cynic’s Word Book)