Susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf

susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf

Susan Sontag s 50 favorite films (and Her Own Cinematic

Smith found a role model in jo, the tomboy writer in louisa may alcott's. "She gave me the courage of a new goal writes Smith, "and soon I was crafting little stories and spinning long yarns for my brother and sister." As a teenager she discovered the French. Symbolist poets, charles baudelaire and especially Arthur Rimbaud, who inspired her and helped shape her own artistic persona as a poet and punk rocker. Despite her fame as a rock 'n' roll musician, Smith has always described herself as essentially a bookish person. It was around the time of Smith's appearance at the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Festival, according. Vertigo, that Smith released this list of her favorite books. Not surprisingly, it's an eclectic and fascinating group of books: Smith's reading recommendations have no doubt evolved since the list was given. Earlier this year a writer for.

Patti Smiths List of favorite books: From Rimbaud

Painting never had so imperial a scope. The subsequent industrialization of camera technology only carried out a promise inherent in photography from its very beginning: to democratize all experiences by translating them into images. That age when taking photographs required a cumbersome and expensive contraption - the toy of the clever, the wealthy, and the obsessed - seems remote indeed from the era of sleek pocket cameras that invite anyone to take pictures. The first cameras, made power in France and England in the early 1840s, had only inventors and buffs to operate them. Since there were then no professional photographers, there could not be amateurs either, and taking photographs had no clear social use; it was a gratuitous, that is, an artistic activity, though with few pretensions to being an art. It was only with its industrialization that photography came into its own as art. As industrialization provided social uses for the operations of the photographer, so the reaction against these uses reinforced the self-consciousness of photography-as-art. Image of Patti Smith performing in rio de janeiro by daigo Oliva. As a little girl, patti Smith found liberation in words - first through the bedtime prayers she made up herself, and later in books. . "I was completely smitten by the book she writes in her memoir, just Kids. "I longed to read them all, and the things I read of produced new yearnings.".

In deciding how a picture should look, in preferring one exposure to another, photographers are always imposing standards on their subjects. Although there is a sense in which the camera does indeed capture reality, not just interpret it, photographs are as much an interpretation of the world as paintings and drawings are. Those occasions when the taking of photographs is relatively undiscriminating, promiscuous, or self-effacing do not lessen the didacticism of the whole estate enterprise. This very passivity - and ubiquity - of the photographic record is photography's "message its aggression. Images which idealize (like most fashion and animal photography) are no less aggressive than work which makes a virtue of plainness (like class pictures, still lifes of the bleaker sort, and mug shots). There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera. This is as evident in the 1840s and 1850s, photography's glorious first two decades, as in all the succeeding decades, during which technology made possible an ever increasing spread of that mentality which looks at the world as a set of potential photographs. Even for such early masters as david Octavius Hill and Julia margaret Cameron who used the camera as a means of getting painterly images, the point of taking photographs was a vast departure from the aims of painters. From its start, photography implied the capture of the largest possible number of subjects.

susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf

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In another version of its utility, the camera record justifies. A photograph roles passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened. The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption that something exists, or did exist, which is like what's in the picture. Whatever the limitations (through amateurism) or pretensions (through artistry) of the individual photographer, a photograph - any photograph - seems to have a more innocent, and therefore more accurate, relation to visible reality than do other barbing mimetic objects. Virtuosi of the noble image like alfred Stieglitz and paul Strand, composing mighty, unforgettable photographs decade after decade, still want, first of all, to show something "out there just like the polaroid owner for whom photographs are a handy, fast form of note-taking, or the. While a painting or a prose description can never be other than a narrowly selective interpretation, a photograph can be treated as a narrowly selective transparency. But despite the presumption of veracity that gives all photographs authority, interest, seductiveness, the work that photographers do is no generic exception to the usually shady commerce between art and truth. Even when photographers are most concerned with mirroring reality, they are still haunted by tacit imperatives of taste and conscience. The immensely gifted members of the farm Security Administration photographic project of the late 1930s (among them Walker evans, dorothea lange, ben Shahn, russell lee) would take dozens of frontal pictures of one of their sharecropper subjects until satisfied that they had gotten just the.

But since it is, to begin with, a printed, smooth object, a photograph loses much less of its essential quality when reproduced in a book than a painting does. Still, the book is not a wholly satisfactory scheme for putting groups of photographs into general circulation. The sequence in which the photographs are to be looked at is proposed by the order of pages, but nothing holds readers to the recommended order or indicates the amount of time to be spent on each photograph. Chris Marker's film, si j'avais quatre dromadaires (1966 a brilliantly orchestrated meditation on photographs of all sorts and themes, suggests a subtler and more rigorous way of packaging (and enlarging) still photographs. Both the order and the exact time for looking at each photograph are imposed; and there is a gain in visual legibility and emotional impact. But photographs transcribed in a film cease to be collectable objects, as they still are when served up in books. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we're shown a photograph. In one version of its utility, the camera record incriminates. Starting with their use by the paris police in the murderous roundup of Communards in June 1871, photographs became a useful tool of modern states in the surveillance and control of their increasingly mobile populations.

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susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf

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Photographs really are experience captured, and the gandhi camera is the ideal arm of consciousness in its acquisitive mood. To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge - and, therefore, like power. A now notorious first fall into alienation, habituating people to abstract the world into printed words, is supposed to have engendered that surplus of faustian energy and psychic damage needed to build modern, inorganic societies. But print seems a less treacherous form of leaching out the world, of turning it into a mental object, than photographic images, which now provide most of the knowledge people have about the look of the past and the reach of the present. What is written about a person or an event is frankly an interpretation, as are handmade visual statements, like paintings and drawings. Photographed images do not seem to be statements about the world so much as pieces of it, miniatures of reality that anyone can make or acquire.

Photographs, which fiddle with the scale of the world, themselves get reduced, blown up, cropped, retouched, doctored, tricked out. They age, plagued by the usual ills of paper objects; they disappear; they become valuable, and get bought and sold; they are reproduced. Photographs, which package the world, seem to invite packaging. They are stuck in albums, framed and set on tables, tacked on walls, projected as slides. Newspapers and magazines feature them; cops alphabetize them; museums exhibit them; publishers compile them. For many decades the book has been the most influential way of arranging (and usually miniaturizing) photographs, thereby guaranteeing them longevity, if not immortality - photographs are fragile objects, easily torn or mislaid - and a wider public. The photograph in a book is, obviously, the image of an image.

"Against Interpretation, by susan Sontag". External links edit retrieved from " ". Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older, more artisanal images. For one thing, there are a great many more images around, claiming our attention. The inventory started in 1839 and since then just about everything has been photographed, or so it seems.


This very insatiability of the photographing eye changes the terms of confinement in the cave, our world. In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads - as an anthology of images. To collect photographs is to collect the world. Movies and television programs light up walls, flicker, and go out; but with still photographs the image is also an object, lightweight, cheap to produce, easy to carry about, accumulate, store. Les Carabiniers (1963 two sluggish lumpen-peasants are lured into joining the king's Army by the promise that they will be able to loot, rape, kill, or do whatever else they please to the enemy, and get rich. But the suitcase of booty that Michel-Ange and Ulysse triumphantly bring home, years later, to their wives turns out to contain only picture postcards, hundreds of them, of Monuments, department Stores, mammals, wonders of Nature, methods of Transport, works of Art, and other classified treasures. Godard's gag vividly parodies the equivocal magic of the photographic image., Photographs are perhaps the most mysterious of all the objects that make up, and thicken, the environment we recognize as modern.

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7 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: statement Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 13 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 11 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 14 demott, benjamin (January 23, 1966). The new York times. Retrieved April 14, 2016. robshaw, Brandon (26 September 2009).

susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf

experience and she believes (in corroboration with her theory of the damaging nature of criticism) that the pleasure of art is diminished by such overload of the senses. In this way, sontag asserts that inevitably, the modern style of interpretation separates form and content in a manner that damages an artwork and one's own sensorial appreciation of a piece. Though she claims that interpretation can be stifling, making art comfortable and manageable and thus degrading the artists original intention, sontag equally presents a solution to the dilemma she sees as an abundance of interpretation on content. That is, to approach art works with a strong emphasis on form, to reveal the sensuous surface of art without mucking about. 5, reception edit, in a contemporary review of the book, benjamin demott of The new York times praised Against Interpretation as "a vivid bit of living history here and now, and at the end of the sixties it may well rank among the invaluable cultural. Though they bear the stamp of their time, sontag was remarkably prescient; her project of analysing popular culture as well as high culture, the doors as well as Dostoevsky, is now common practice throughout the educated world. And the artists and intellectuals she discusses nietzsche, camus, godard, barthes etc demonstrate that she knew which horses to back." 7 see also edit references edit national book foundation ml.WI9vblyrL8M. Retrieved missing or empty title ( help ) susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961.

She believes that interpretation of the modern style has a particular taming effect: reducing the freedom of a subjective response and placing limitations or certain database rules upon a responder. The modern style of interpretation is particularly despised by sontag in relation to the previous classical style of interpretation that sought to bring artworks up to date, to meet modern interests and apply allegorical readings. Where this type of interpretation was seen to resolve conflict between past and present by revamping an art work and maintaining a certain level of respect and honour, sontag believes that the modern style of interpretation has lost sensitivity and rather strives to stroy. Sontag asserts that the modern style is quite harmful; to art and to audiences alike, enforcing hermeneutics - fallacious, complicated readings that seem to engulf an artwork, to the extent that analysis of content begins to degrade, to destroy. Reverting to a more primitive and sensual, almost magical experience of art is what Sontag desires; even though that is quite impossible due to the thickened layers of hermeneutics that surround interpretation of art and that have grown to be recognised and respected. Marxian and, freudian theories, claiming they are aggressive and impious. 3, sontag also refers to the contemporary world as one of overproduction.

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From wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, jump to navigation, jump to search. Against Interpretation is a collection of essays by, susan Sontag published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style and the eponymous essay "Against Interpretation." In the last, sontag argues that lined in the new approach to aesthetics the spiritual importance of art is being replaced by the emphasis on the intellect. Rather than recognizing great creative works as possible sources of energy, she argues, contemporary critics were all too often taking art's transcendental power for granted, and focusing instead on their own intellectually constructed abstractions like "form" and "content." In effect, she wrote, interpretation had become. The book was a finalist for the Arts and Letters category of the. National book award 1, contents, summary edit "Against Interpretation" is Sontag's influential essay within. Against Interpretation and Other Essays that discusses the divisions between two different kinds of art criticism and theory: that of formalist interpretation, and that of content-based interpretation. Sontag is strongly averse to what she considers to be contemporary interpretation, that is, an overabundance of importance placed upon the content or meaning of an artwork rather than being keenly alert to the sensuous aspects of a given work and developing a descriptive vocabulary.


Susan sontag against interpretation and other essays pdf
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  1. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older, more artisanal images. Susan Sontag's fans would each describe her a little differently: many would call her a writer, of course, though some would opt for more specificity, calling her a novelist if they like her fiction or a critic if they don't. Patti Smiths cover of Nirvanas Smells like teen Spirit Strips the song Down to its heart. I do not even have to visit this link to concur. Kandel was awarded the nobel Prize in medicine in 2000 for his seminal observation that it was in the action of the synapses between cells that memory existed, not in the cells themselves, and that a molecule called cyclic amp was what allowed cells.

  2. Susan Sontag s ɒ n t æ ɡ january 16, 1933 december 28, 2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist. She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay "Notes on 'camp in 1964. Susan Sontag: Essays of the 1960s & 70s (loa 246 Against Interpretation / Styles of Radical Will / On Photography / Illness as Metaphor /. (Library of America susan Sontag Edition). Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth.

  3. Against Interpretation: And Other Essays Susan Sontag. Free shipping on qualifying offers. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Against Interpretation is a collection of essays by susan Sontag published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style and the eponymous essay "Against Interpretation.".

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