Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"flying horses," 1893

i love photos which break open the illusion that the past was never alive. while many old photos give us a sense of real existence, their stillness makes them seem eternal: the people gravely pose, knowing they will never die. this photo (an enlarged copy of which is hanging in new haven's union station) is so different; the movement of limbs, even the joy of the boys in that movement, is evident. we can believe that that grinning boy, and the little one straining to keep up, were flying like the horses of the fire engine. we can believe they kept right on moving and one day died in circumstances not at all like those of that moment when the shutter went "click." see the firefighter still pulling on his boot!

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