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Susan sontag 1977 essay on photography

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This is an essay, if you will, of my interpretation of the first chapter "In Plato's Cave" of Susan Sontag's book, On Photography. For those of you who do not know who Susan Sontag was, she was an active author, intellectual, playwright, well-known cultural figure, and humanitarian. She was an "outside-the-box" thinker and thought deeply about culture and values. Basically Sontag is arguing a point that photography is a sort of false way of relating to the world because pictures can be so flawed, in essence, falsely interpreted.

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Susan Sontag – Wikipedia

Quite frankly, I am not a fan of Susan Sontag. I find her work lacking in academic rigour, and very prone to deeply personal judgment — in fact, she and Roland Barthes have much in common on these two counts. But, in taking those views, they both seem to disregard or at minimum not logically argue against other possible views. That approach would of course be fine if their work was not held up as two of the great canons in the photographic literature. My overriding impression from Sontag and Barthes is a rather antipathetic view towards photography, which constantly dogs the literature. It is almost as if their work was written to encourage a whole school of criticism of it — Elkins, Linfield and many more.

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Published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux Seller Rating:. Used - Hardcover Condition: Very Good.
Photography is a field that is steeped in ambiguity, it is an art form, a form of evidence both in scientific and legal processes, it is used heavily in advertising and also in journalism. Susan Sontag said photographs sends across the harmlessness and helplessness of the human life steering into their own ruin. Furthermore the bond connecting photography with departure from life tortures the human race.
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