Photo-Textual Relationships in Early Photobook Making: [Re]Tracing the Roots of Photobook Syntax

Jose Neves

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes to analyse the first stages of the relationship between textual matter and photographic images in nineteenth-century photobook practice, investigating how these two elements interacted within several books created during that period of photobook history. The examination aims to demonstrate how those photographic books embody an unexpected duality in which text and photographic images can be divergent or harmonious, questioning established academic perceptions that defined photographs as exclusively secondary in relation to text or categorically central in the construction of photographic books. In its second part, the paper examines how these different intersemiotic relationships did not immediately sustain the type of photo-textual narrative this article attributes to photobookworks, a type of photographic book defined by a complex suprasegmental, multi-layered and relational narrative predominantly based on a multimodal discourse that traverses the entirety of the book.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalCOMPENDIUM: Journal of Comparative Studies
Early online date31 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • Intersemiosis
  • Multimodality
  • Paravisual
  • Paratextual
  • Photobookwork
  • Photo-Textual Narrative


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