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Slightly Out of Focus (Modern Library War) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Robert Capa , Cornell Capa , Richard Whelan
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12. Juni 2001 Modern Library War
In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying journey through the darkest battles of World War II and shares his memories of the men and women of the Allied forces who befriended, amused, and captivated him along the way. His photographs are masterpieces -- John G. Morris, Magnum Photos' first executive editor, called Capa "the century's greatest battlefield photographer" -- and his writing is by turns riotously funny and deeply moving.

From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.

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  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Modern Library; Auflage: New edition (12. Juni 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0375753966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375753961
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,6 x 1,3 x 20,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 74.229 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"A powerful story nimbly told. For devotees of fine photography or accounts of World War II, the Modern Library 's reprinting is a welcome gift."
-- Tampa Tribune and Times

"Capa's work is itself the picture of a great heart and an overwhelming compassion. . . . He could photograph motion and gaiety and heartbreak. He could photograph thought. He captured a world."
-- John Steinbeck

"Above all--and this is what shows in his pictures--Capa, who spent so much energy on inventions for his own person, has deep, human sympathy for men and women trapped in reality."
-- John Hersey


The vibrant WWII memoir of legendary photojournalist Robert Capa, Illustrated with his extraordinary photographs throughout.

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von A. Berti
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Dieses Buch ist die Geschichte von Robert Capas Einsatz als Fotograph im 2. Weltkrieg. Capa war zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch ungarischer Staatsangehöriger und hatte am Anfang eine Reihe von Problemen, um am Krieg mit den Allierten als Fotoreporter teilzunehmen. Er hat dann aber viel Mut und Intuition eingesetzt, um dabei zu sein und nach einer Weile konnte er überall hin und überall mitmachen. Das hat er dann auch getan: Capa sprang mit einem Fallschirm über Sizillien ab, erlebte die ersten Tage der Befreiung in Süditalien; den D-Day erlebt er an der Omaha-Beach, der wohl brutalsten Schlacht an der Westfront in der Normandie. Ein Assisten verhuntzt die meisten Bilder dieser wohl mutigsten Aktion, die Capa während des 2. Weltkriegs unternimmt. Obwohl der Fotograph vor Wut schäumte, wollte er nicht, dass der Assistent seinen Job verliert, weil er sehr menschlich war.
Das Buch ist in einem angenehmen, leichten Englisch geschrieben und zwischen den Zeilen lernt der Leser viel über Robert Capa. Die Einleitung aus der Feder seines Bruders Cornell, wie Capa Mitglied der Agentur Mangnum, trägt viel zum Verständnis bei.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen a very pleasant surprise 3. Dezember 2007
Von Boris
Only when I read this book did I discover that Capa's original ambition was to be a writer, not a photographer - and it shows.

A hint of his talent is on display in the very short chapter he wrote in the middle of "A Russian Journal", but here he has the opportunity to let rip, and the result is a fascinating book, which often surprises with its humour and deep compassion. I read it in a single sitting.

The book describes not just the D-Day invasion, but also campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and southern Italy, as well as the charming, comical (and largely factual) romance he had developing in London at the same time. To label it a mere "war book" does not do it justice.

Apparently the book was written with a view to making it a feature film, so the action moves apace. But it is Capa's personlity that really shines through, a courageous and modest man, always ready to play down his own achievements and laugh at himself even as he stared death in the face. Highly recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen WWII through Capa's eyes 26. Oktober 2007
Von allesteer
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
a very interesting read, and Capa's style is at times light-hearted, which doesn't always seem fitting for the things he is describing. Nevertheless, the book is a superb insight into what Capa experienced as a war phototographer during WWII (my only critique is the flimsy quality of this paperback and occasional typographical (letter-spacing) errors)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Das habe ich nicht erwartet - sooooooo gut! 1. Februar 2012
Von fhrank
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Habe das Buch wegen der Bilder des berühmten Fotografen Robert Capa gekauft - und wurde durch die unglaubliche Leichtigkeit (ohne jemals billig oder albern zu werden) und dennoch fesselnde Art der Erzählung absolut verblüfft. Einmal angefangen war es schwer das Buch zur Seite zu legen, dafür stets eine Freude wieder weiterzulesen. Wenn man den Begriff des Flow-Erlebnisses auf ein Leseerlebnis anwenden möchte - dann hier und das zu Einhundert Prozent - no doubt about it.

Zumindest nach diesem Buch: "There is absolutely no reason to get up in the morning any more." ...for another read.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  17 Rezensionen
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Incorrigible Capa 2. Dezember 2003
Von Melissa Dunson - Veröffentlicht auf
Slightly Out of Focus, the autobiography by legendary photographer Robert Capa, chronicles his experiences as a photographer for Collier's and Life magazines during World War II. Capa's adventure takes him from his comfortable bed in New York, across the Atlantic, into the African desert, to the beaches of Normandy and the liberation of Paris, through Germany, and finally to a posh London apartment where his journey ends. The book is a delightful read. Over 100 of Capa's breathtaking and thought provoking photographs are scattered throughout its pages. Slightly Out of Focus is ridiculously easy to read. Capa's conversational style and witty banter result in a story that feels more like your favorite novel, than the biography of a war correspondent. The memoirs span only 232 pages, but fully encompass the blood, sweat, and tears shed during the most gruesome war in American history.
Capa throws no punches when he puts his thoughts and experiences into words. He is gut wrenchingly open, honest, and human about himself and the war that he photographs. He accurately shows the not so glamorous, unromantic side of front-line journalism in stories about being too broke to pay his bills, sleeping in bed-bug infested houses, driving for hours over empty deserts, contracting malaria, bureaucratic red tape, and eventually giving up the woman of his dreams to continue photographing the war. Capa is honest enough to admit to all of this and wrote, "I began to dislike this war. The life of a war correspondent wasn't so romantic."
Capa put his life in danger countless times in the book, each time in the quest for the perfect photo that said everything and each time narrowly escaping death. While in Africa, he accidentally wandered into a mine field and had to wait for hours to be rescued. Later, the division that Capa was traveling with was bombed during the night. Capa described it as, "Next morning, when I woke up, there wasn't any tent over me. The camp had been bombed during the night. The blasts had blown away all the tents, although no one was hurt. I was the object of envy and admiration for having slept through it all without stirring." During his time in Europe, Capa joined in the Normandy invasion and parachuted out of planes. Soon after he began, Capa gave up trying to be an impartial observer and assisted in rescuing and transporting wounded soldiers during some of the fiercest fighting. He slept in fox holes, ate C-rations, and helped bury fallen soldiers.
In Slightly Out of Focus, we learn as much about Capa as we do about the war. He unashamedly allows us a constant view into his psyche. It offers a refreshing and helpful glimpse into the struggles of an embedded journalist. He admits when he is frightened, tired, apathetic, angry, or even happy. He talks often in the book of becoming tired of the sickeningly violent monotony that is war. "They were simple pictures and showed how dreary and unspectacular life fighting actually is. The correspondent's war neurosis was setting pictures were sad and empty as the war, and I didn't feel like sending them to the magazine."
In spite of the inherent death and depression of war, Capa finds the everyday humor in extraordinary experiences. Just when the book seems too intense, he makes a witty remark or points out the weakness in human folly and makes you chuckle. He allows you to take the pill of war down without having to dissipate the cold, hard facts, by giving the reader a spoon full of sugar at the same time.
The love story of Capa and "Pinky" (a.k.a. Elaine Justin) also provides a breakup between intense battles. Capa maintains a lighthearted feel in the book by alternating chapters of fighting and death with chapters of his humorous roller-coaster romance. In the end "Pinky" gives up on Capa because, by covering the war instead of being with her, he finally chose between his two great loves. Capa begins and ends the book with the same line, "There is absolutely no reason to get up in the mornings anymore." The reader understands finally, on the 232nd page, that Capa lives to cover wars. In his mind, being a war correspondent isn't a job, it is a destiny. When he isn't covering a war, he is lost, restless, and aimless.
Slightly Out of Focus is jewel deserving five stars. Capa has effectively created a book that captures the feeling of World War II while making it palatable to the average reader. He educates and entertains. The work is believable and down to earth, revealing a transparency uncommon to most authors, but welcomed by readers. In this work, Capa proves himself to be far more than a great photographer. In the words of Capa's good friend, Pulitzer Prize winner John Hersey, "He has humor. He has a clear idea of what makes a great picture: `it is a cut of the whole event,' he says, `which will show more of the real truth of the affair to someone who was not there than the whole scene.' Above all-and this is what shows in his pictures-Capa, who has spent so much energy on inventions for his own person, has deep human sympathy for men and women trapped in reality."
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Amazing 19. April 2002
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
When I think of the founders of Magnum I see larger than life heros that are always in the right place at the right time for the perfect picture. Not only does this book show that Capa is not larger than life, but a very real man, but he also worked very hard to be at the right place at the right time...not to mention he spent much of his life at the wrong place at the wrong time.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of My Favorite Books 30. Juli 2012
Von Peter G. Johnson - Veröffentlicht auf
Capa's autobiography is like his photography: it captures reality and fact but evokes the skill and passion of the artist. Some say his photograph of the falling soldier in the Spanish Civil War was staged yet there is no denying the authenticity of the Trotsky photos and the chances he took where cameras were not allowed. This book is captures that duality about him. Capa telling us about himself with a little embellishment but plenty of truth. There is a new autobiography of him that just came out, the "unauthorized" biography of A. Kershaw and any number of tales from those who knew him but to me this tops all that is out there. For me this book is like sitting somewhere with him in Paris as he spins his tales to his friends.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen YAY! 1. Februar 2013
Von M. B. Cundall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
My dad really enjoyed this book. It's a great one! So happy to have found it. It was fabulously written, with some great, rare photos with a keen look into what made Robert the artist he was.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Look At The Man Behind The Camera 7. Oktober 2004
Von Matthew P. Arsenault - Veröffentlicht auf
In the world of combat photography, the name Robert Capa occupies the apex. Having covered four major wars, his photos are not only a testament to his skill with a lens, but also serve as an excellent illustrated record of the 20th century.

Aside from being a remarkable photographer, Capa is also quite adept with the pen. Slightly Out of Focus is a brilliant illustration of Capa's multifacited skills as a journalist.

Beginning in 1942, Capa, a Hungarian exile, describes his life as a "potential enemy alien" living in New York City and the subsequent difficulties of trying to attain passage to the European theatre. These biographical snippets lend an interesting take on Capa the man; aspects all too often over-powered by his fame as a photographer.

Once arrived in Europe, Capa creates an interesting tale of love and adventure. Originally, Slightly Out of Focus was to serve as screen play. As such, Focus is based on actual events, but tinted with imagination in order to be better suited for Hollywood. Nevertheless, the work is historically accurate and Capa's insights of World War II cut to the quick.

Interestingly, Capa views the World War II experience as enlightening and generally good. Rarely are there the melancholy sentiments that color other war memoirs, (i.e. famed combat photographer Tim Page). The exception being a brief allusion to bearing witness to the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. An instance where Capa chose not to click the shutter.

I would be curious to discover more of Capa's writings regarding his time spent covering other conflicts, namely the Arab-Israeli War and the first Indochina war.

As a successful newspaperman, Capa wrote a number of articles to accompany his pictures.

Although his photos have always retained their cutting edge brilliance, I often wonder if his observations and opinions changed with age, and the nature of these other conflicts. Sadly, Capa died doing what he did best, providing us at home with a glimpse of the emotions and moments of war. Thankfully, his photos will remain eternal.
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