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Random Quote
"Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society."
Michel Foucault
Susan Sontag Quotes
A family's photograph album is generally about the extended family and, often, is all that remains of it.
Susan Sontag

A fiction about soft or easy deaths is part of the mythology of most diseases that are not considered shameful or demeaning.
Susan Sontag

A large part of the popularity and persuasiveness of psychology comes from its being a sublimated spiritualism: a secular, ostensibly scientific way of affirming the primacy of "spirit" over matter.
Susan Sontag

AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder.
Susan Sontag

AIDS occupies such a large part in our awareness because of what it has been taken to represent. It seems the very model of all the catastrophes privileged populations feel await them.
Susan Sontag

Although none of the rules for becoming more alive is valid, it is healthy to keep on formulating them.
Susan Sontag

Ambition, if it feeds at all, does so on the ambition of others.
Susan Sontag

Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.
Susan Sontag

Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance.
Susan Sontag

"Camp" is a vision of the world in terms of style - but a particular style. It is the love of the exaggerated.
Susan Sontag

Cancer patients are lied to, not just because the disease is (or is thought to be) a death sentence, but because it is felt to be obscene - in the original meaning of that word: ill-omened, abominable, repugnant to the senses.
Susan Sontag

Depression is melancholy minus its charms - the animation, the fits.
Susan Sontag

Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents pots and pans - the used things, warm with generations of human touch, essential to a human landscape. Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorized landscapes. A featherweight portable museum.
Susan Sontag

For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obscene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
Susan Sontag

Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been - what people needed protection from. Now nature tamed, endangered, mortal - needs to be protected from people.
Susan Sontag

He who despises himself esteems himself as a self-despiser.
Susan Sontag

I was not looking for my dreams to interpret my life, but rather for my life to interpret my dreams.
Susan Sontag

In America, the photographer is not simply the person who records the past, but the one who invents it.
Susan Sontag

In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.
Susan Sontag

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.
Susan Sontag

It is not altogether wrong to say that there is no such thing as a bad photograph - only less interesting, less relevant, less mysterious ones.
Susan Sontag

It is not the position, but the disposition.
Susan Sontag

It seems positively unnatural to travel without taking a camera along... The very activity of taking pictures is soothing and assuages general feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel.
Susan Sontag

Life is not significant details, illuminated by a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are.
Susan Sontag

Lying is the most simple form of self-defence.
Susan Sontag

Making social comment is an artificial place for an artist to start from. If an artist is touched by some social condition, what the artist creates will reflect that, but you can't force it.
Susan Sontag

Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.
Susan Sontag

Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life - its material plenitude, its sheer crowdedness - conjoin to dull our sensory faculties.
Susan Sontag

Sanity is a cozy lie.
Susan Sontag

The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art - and, by analogy, our own experience - more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means.
Susan Sontag

The becoming of man is the history of the exhaustion of his possibilities.
Susan Sontag

The best emotions to write out of are anger and fear or dread. The least energizing emotion to write out of is admiration. It is very difficult to write out of because the basic feeling that goes with admiration is a passive contemplative mood.
Susan Sontag

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own.
Susan Sontag

The hard truth is that what may be acceptable in elite culture may not be acceptable in mass culture, that tastes which pose only innocent ethical issues as the property of a minority become corrupting when they become more established. Taste is context, and the context has changed.
Susan Sontag

The ideology of capitalism makes us all into connoisseurs of liberty - of the indefinite expansion of possibility.
Susan Sontag

The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
Susan Sontag

The love of the famous, like all strong passions, is quite abstract. Its intensity can be measured mathematically, and it is independent of persons.
Susan Sontag

The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.
Susan Sontag

The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects - making it possible... to see a new beauty in what is vanishing.
Susan Sontag

The taste for worst-case scenarios reflects the need to master fear of what is felt to be uncontrollable. It also expresses an imaginative complicity with disaster.
Susan Sontag

The truth is balance. However the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.
Susan Sontag

The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
Susan Sontag

To take a photograph is to participate in another person's mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt.
Susan Sontag

Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.
Susan Sontag

Unfortunately, moral beauty in art - like physical beauty in a person - is extremely perishable. It is nowhere so durable as artistic or intellectual beauty. Moral beauty has a tendency to decay very rapidly into sententiousness or untimeliness.
Susan Sontag

Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures.
Susan Sontag

Victims suggest innocence. And innocence, by the inexorable logic that governs all relational terms, suggests guilt.
Susan Sontag

Volume depends precisely on the writer's having been able to sit in a room every day, year after year, alone.
Susan Sontag

War-making is one of the few activities that people are not supposed to view "realistically;" that is, with an eye to expense and practical outcome. In all-out war, expenditure is all-out, unprudent - war being defined as an emergency in which no sacrifice is excessive.
Susan Sontag

We live under continual threat of two equally fearful, but seemingly opposed, destinies: unremitting banality and inconceivable terror. It is fantasy, served out in large rations by the popular arts, which allows most people to cope with these twin specters.
Susan Sontag

What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.
Susan Sontag

What pornography is really about, ultimately, isn't sex but death.
Susan Sontag

What we need is to use what we have.
Susan Sontag

With the modern diseases (once TB, now cancer) the romantic idea that the disease expresses the character is invariably extended to assert that the character causes the disease - because it has not expressed itself. Passion moves inward, striking and blighting the deepest cellular recesses.
Susan Sontag

Type:
Author
Date of Birth:
1933-01-28
Year of Death:
2004
Nationality:
American
 

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