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Susan Sontag Quotes
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Susan Sontag Quote: “You have to sink way down to a level of hopelessness and desperation to find the book that you can write.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “A personality is our way of being for others. We hope that others will meet us half way or more, gratify our needs, be our audience, soothe our fears.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “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 Quote: “I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of a greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I’m doing.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as collective memory – part of the same family of spurious notions as collective guilt. But there is collective instruction... What is called collective memory is not a remembering but a stipulating: that this is important, and this is the story about how it happened, with the pictures that lock the story in our minds.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “No one extraordinary appears to be entirely contemporary. People who are contemporary don’t appear at all: they are invisible.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Image of an image of an image... But to record all the dips and upswings, in a sense falsifies them, and I start deluding myself and thinking all this is, or might be, real. Enough to play the game, or try to play it. A mistake to tally up the score.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Beware of anything that you hear yourself saying often.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “My repressed feelings leak out – slowly – in the form of resentment – a continual leakage of resentment.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Art, itself a form of mystification, endures a succession of crises of demystification; older artistic goals are assailed and, ostensibly, replaced; outworn maps of consciousness are redrawn.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “A six-week trip to China in 1973 convinced me – if I needed convincing – that the autonomy of the aesthetic is something to be protected, and cherished, as indispensable nourishment to intelligence. But a decade-long residence in the 1960s, with its inexorable conversion of moral and political radicalisms into “style,” has convinced me of the perils of over- generalizing the aesthetic view of the world.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “One can feel obliged to look at phototgraphs that record great cruelties and crimes. One should feel obliged to think about what it means to look at them, about the capacity actually to assimilate what they show. Not all reactions to these pictures are under the supervision of reason and conscience.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “The romantic treatment of death asserts that people were made singular, made more interesting, by their illnesses.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “In a time hollowed out by decorum, one must school oneself in spontaneity.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Persons who merely have-a-life customarily move in a dense fluid. That’s how they’re able to conduct their lives at all. Their living depends on not seeing.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “In NY sensuality completely turns into sexuality – no objects for the senses to respond to, no beautiful river, houses, people. Awful smells of the street, and dirt... Nothing except eating, if that, and the frenzy of the bed.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “In ‘life,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my work. In ‘work,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my life.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of “character.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Up to a point, the weight and seriousness of such photographs survive better in a book, where one can look privately, linger over the pictures, without talking. Still, at some moment the book will be closed. The strong emotion will become a transient one.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “If literature has engaged me as a project, first as a reader, then as a writer, it is as an extension of my sympathies to other selves, other domains, other dreams, other territories.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “All photographs aspire to the condition of being memorable – that is, unforgettable.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Pleasure of tragedy is vicarious suicide.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys: they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Literature usually begets literature.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “To describe a phenomenon as a cancer is an incitement to violence. The use of cancer in political discourse encourages fatalism and justifies “severe” measures.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Did I feel all that? So much? As sounds decays into inadudibility, euphoria decays into indifference, and that is always unexpected, the way exalted feelings are weakened, undone by time.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “One cannot use the life to interpret the work. But One can use the work to interpret the life.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Volume depends precisely on the writer’s having been able to sit in a room every day, year after year, alone.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Loeb has been doing wonderfully patient work, exploring the American conscience from the inside. I regard him as something of a national treasure.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “One man thinks before he acts. Another man thinks after he acts. Each is of the opinon that the other thinks too much.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “We can’t imagine how dreadful, how terrifying war is; and how normal it becomes. Can’t understand, can’t imagine. That’s what every soldier, and every journalist and aid worker and independent observer who has put in time under fire, and had the luck to elude the death that struck down others nearby, stubbornly feels. And they are right.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Etymologically, ‘patient’ means sufferer.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “A work of art, so far as it is a work of art, cannot – whatever the artist’s personal intention – advocate anything at all.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “The notion of art as the dearly purchased outcome of an immense spiritual risk, one whose cost goes up with the entry and participation of each new player in the game.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Concerning the death of Gertrude Stein: she came out of a deep coma to ask her companion Alice Toklas, ‘Alice, Alice, what is the answer?’ Her companion replied, ‘There is no answer.’ Gertrude Stein continued, ‘Well, then, what is the question?’ and fell back dead.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “When the right person does the wrong thing, it’s the right thing.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Although none of the rules for becoming more alive is valid, it is healthy to keep on formulating them.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “But the past is the biggest country of all, and there’s a reason one gives in to the desire to set stories in the past: almost everything good seems located in the past, perhaps that’s an illusion, but I feel nostalgic for every era before I was born; and one is freer of modern inhibitions, perhaps because one bears no responsibility for the past, sometimes I feel simply ashamed of the time in which I live.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Self-respect. It would make me lovable. And it’s the secret to good sex.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “With time, many staged photographs turn back into historical evidence, albeit of an impure kind – like most historical evidence.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “However painful they were, I needed my dreams – the metaphor for my introspection – if I was ever to be at peace.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “One of the author’s most ancient roles is to call the community to account for its hypocrisies and bad faith...”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Opinions are like some kind of crust that grows on top of things and you want to kind of peel them off.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “A writer is first of all a reader. It is from reading that I derive the standards by which I measure my own work and according to which I fall lamentably short.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of inane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Apocalypse is now a long-running serial: not “Apocalypse Now” but “Apocalypse From Now On.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Denying that art is mere expression, the later myth rather relates art to the mind’s need or capacity for self-estrangement.”
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