It seems that artists like Laughlin must have felt very peripheral in their time. Were these hobbies? Passions?
Clarence John Laughlin (1905 – 2 January 1985) was a United States photographer best known for his surrealist photographs of the U.S. South. Laughlin was born in to a middle class family in Lake Charles, Louisiana. His rocky childhood, southern heritage, and interest in literature influenced his work greatly. After losing everything in a failed rice-growing venture in 1910, his family was forced to relocate to New Orleans where Laughlin’s father found work in a factory. Laughlin was an introverted child with few friends and a close relationship with his father, who cultivated and encouraged his lifelong love of literature and whose death in 1918 devastated his son.
Although he dropped out of high school in 1920, after having barely completed his freshman year, Laughlin was an educated and highly literate man. His large vocabulary and love of language are evident in the elaborate captions he later wrote to accompany his photographs. He initially aspired to be a writer and wrote many poems and stories in the style of French symbolism, most of which remained unpublished.