The Lyrical Gaze: On James Agee and Helen Levitt’s 1944 film In The Street

Blinder, Caroline. 2023. The Lyrical Gaze: On James Agee and Helen Levitt’s 1944 film In The Street. In: Michael A. Lofaro, ed. James Agee in Context: New Literary, Visual, Cultural, and Historical Essays. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, pp. 154-178. ISBN 9781621907428 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The photographer and filmmaker Helen Levitt collaborated with the writer James Agee in the 1930s and 40s - most famously enlisting Agee to write the introduction to her collection of New York street photography. While Agee was more known for his collaboration with the photographer Walker Evans, this chapter argues for the cinematic rather than the static photograph as the moment when Agee's remarkable writing on the visual crystallises. In Levitt's short film the experimental and the humanist vision of both artists comes together.

Item Type:

Book Section


Helen Levitt, James Agee, Avant Garde U.S.A. Cinema, Street photography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


1 September 2020Completed
17 January 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Jun 2024 10:28

Last Modified:

14 Jun 2024 15:28


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