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Susan Sontag Quotes
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Susan Sontag Quote: “I am thinking – talking – in images. I don’t know how to write them down. Every feeling is physical.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “You can go into all sorts of situations with a camera and people will think they should serve it.”
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: “It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.”
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: “The possession of a camera can inspire something akin to lust. And like all credible forms of lust, it cannot be satisfied.”
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: “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: “One of the author’s most ancient roles is to call the community to account for its hypocrisies and bad faith...”
Susan Sontag Quote: “What, I ask, drives me to disorder? How can I diagnose myself? All I feel, most immediately, is the most anguished need for physical love and mental companionship -.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Everything should be understood, and anything can be transformed – that is the modern view.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Being self-conscious. Treating one’s self as an other. Supervising oneself.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “I am sick of having opinions. I am sick of talking.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “She increases her burden of self-hatred, she behaves destructively with people she loves.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “Part of the puzzle, surely, lies in the disconnect between official rhetoric and lived realities. Americans are constantly extolling “traditions”; litanies to family values are at the center of every politician’s discourse. And yet the culture of America is extremely corrosive of family life, indeed of all traditions except those redefined as “identities” that fit in the larger patterns of distinctiveness, cooperation, and openness to innovation.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “The more remote or exotic the place, the more likely we are to have full frontal views of the dead and dying.”
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: “Photography has become the quintessential art of affluent, wasteful, restless societies.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “The “Art Nouveau” appeal of smoking: manufacture your own pneuma, spirit. “I’m alive.” “I’m decorative.”
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: “My love wants to incorporate her totally, to eat her. My love is selfish.”
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: “The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense of abusing the present.”
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: “Marriage is a sort of tacit hunting in couples. The world all in couples, each couple in its own little house, watching its own little interests and stewing in its own little privacy – it’s the most repulsive thing in the world. One’s got to get rid of the exclusiveness of married love.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “I know I’m not myself with people, but am I myself when alone? That seems unlikely, too.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “In a time hollowed out by decorum, one must school oneself in spontaneity.”
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: “Citizens of modernity, consumers of violence as spectacle, adepts of proximity without risk, are schooled to be cynical about the possibility of sincerity. Some people will do anything to keep themselves from being moved.”
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: “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: “None of us can ever retrieve that innocence before all theory when art knew no need to justify itself, when one did not ask of a work of art what it said because one knew what it did. From now to the end of consciousness, we are stuck with the task of defending art.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “It’s not ‘natural’ to speak well, eloquently, in an interesting articulate way. People living in groups, families, communes say little – have few verbal means. Eloquence – thinking in words – is a byproduct of solitude, deracination, a heightened painful individuality.”
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: “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: “Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
Susan Sontag Quote: “What is beautiful reminds us of nature as such – of what lies beyond the human and the made – and thereby stimulates and deepens our sense of the sheer spread and fullness of reality, inanimate as well as pulsing, that surrounds us all.”
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: “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: “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: “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.”
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