Susan Sontag citations

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Susan Sontag

Date de naissance: 16. janvier 1933
Date de décès: 28. décembre 2004
Autres noms:സൂസൻ സൊൻടാഗ്,Susan Sontagová

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Susan Sontag, née Rosenblatt à New York le 16 janvier 1933, décédée le 28 décembre 2004 à New York, est une essayiste, romancière et militante américaine. Elle s'est fait connaître en 1964 en publiant un essai intitulé Notes on Camp, qui devient la référence sur cette forme de sensibilité contemporaine qui apparaît dans la culture des années 1960. Internationalement acclamée, elle est aussi connue pour ses essais Contre l'interprétation, Sur la photographie, Devant la douleur des autres et pour des romans tels que L'Amant du volcan ou En Amérique. Auteure engagée, elle a beaucoup écrit sur les médias et la culture, mais aussi sur la maladie, sur le sida, les droits de l'homme et le communisme. Peut-être davantage que ses romans, on retiendra ses réflexions sur les rapports du politique, de l'éthique et de l'esthétique et sa critique de l'impérialisme américain.

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Citations Susan Sontag

„I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: A curious word, wanderlust. I'm ready to go. I've already gone. Regretfully, exultantly. A prouder lyricism. It's not Paradise that's lost. Advice. Move along, let's get cracking, don’t hold me down, he travels fastest who travels alone. Let's get the show on the road. Get up, slugabed. I'm clearing out of here. Get your ass in gear. Sleep faster, we need the pillow. She's racing, he's stalling. If I go this fast, I won't see anything. If I slow down — Everything. — then I won't have seen everything before it disappears. Everywhere. I've been everywhere. I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list. Land's end. But there's water, O my heart. And salt on my tongue. The end of the world. This is not the end of the world. "Unguided Tour", in The New Yorker (31 October 1977), final lines; also in I, Etcetera (1977)

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„My library is an archive of longings.“

— Susan Sontag, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980

„From "old" Europe's point of view, America seems bent on squandering the admiration — and gratitude — felt by most Europeans.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: From "old" Europe's point of view, America seems bent on squandering the admiration — and gratitude — felt by most Europeans. The immense sympathy for the United States in the aftermath of the attack on September 11, 2001 was genuine. (I can testify to its resounding ardor and sincerity in Germany; I was in Berlin at the time.) But what has followed is an increasing estrangement on both sides. The citizens of the richest and most powerful nation in history have to know that America is loved, and envied... and resented.

„The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public. Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a "cowardly" attack on "civilization" or "liberty" or "humanity" or "the free world" but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word "cowardly" is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards. On the September 11, 2001 attacks The New Yorker: Talk of the Town (24 September 2001) https://archive.is/20130630002651/www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/010924ta_talk_wtc?010924ta_talk_wtc

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„Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens — and real diseases are useful material.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens — and real diseases are useful material. Epidemic diseases usually elicit a call to ban the entry of foreigners, immigrants. And xenophobic propaganda has always depicted immigrants as bearers of disease (in the late nineteenth century: cholera, yellow fever, typhoid fever, tuberculosis). … Such is the extraordinary potency and efficacy of the plague metaphor: it allows a disease to be regarded both as something incurred by vulnerable "others" and as (potentially) everyone's disease. AIDS and Its Metaphors, (1989), ch. 6, p. 149

„Indeed, sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure I am not dreaming: that what many people in my own country now hold against Germany, which wreaked such horrors on the world for nearly a century — the new "German problem," as it were — is that Germans are repelled by war; that much of German public opinion is now virtually ... pacifist!“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Americans have it right. Europeans are not in an evangelical — or a bellicose — mood. Indeed, sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure I am not dreaming: that what many people in my own country now hold against Germany, which wreaked such horrors on the world for nearly a century — the new "German problem," as it were — is that Germans are repelled by war; that much of German public opinion is now virtually... pacifist!

„Never before was the relation of masters and slaves so consciously aestheticized.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Sadomasochism has always been the furthest reach of the sexual experience: when sex becomes most purely sexual, that is, severed from personhood, from relationships, from love. It should not be surprising that it has become attached to Nazi symbolism in recent years. Never before was the relation of masters and slaves so consciously aestheticized. Sade had to make up his theater of punishment and delight from scratch, improvising the decor and costumes and blasphemous rites. Now there is a master scenario available to everyone. The color is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death. "Fascinating Fascism" (1974), published in The New York Review of Books (6 February 1975) and reprinted in Sontag's Under the Sign of Saturn (1980), p. 105

„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
Context: 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. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom. Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom.

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„Reality has come to seem more and more like what we are shown by cameras.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Reality has come to seem more and more like what we are shown by cameras. It is common now for people to insist upon their experience of a violent event in which they were caught up — a plane crash, a shoot-out, a terrorist bombing — that "it seemed like a movie." This is said, other descriptions seeming insufficient, in order to explain how real it was. While many people in non-industrialized countries still feel apprehensive when being photographed, divining it to be some kind of trespass, an act of disrespect, a sublimated looting of the personality or the culture, people in industrialized countries seek to have their photographs taken — feel that they are images, and are made real by photographs. "The Image-World", p. 161

„From now to the end of consciousness, we are stuck with the task of defending art.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: 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 (or thought one knew) what it did. From now to the end of consciousness, we are stuck with the task of defending art. We can only quarrel with one or another means of defense. Indeed, we have an obligation to overthrow any means of defending and justifying art which becomes particularly obtuse or onerous or insensitive to contemporary needs and practices. This is the case, today, with the very idea of content itself. Whatever it may have been in the past, the idea of content is today mainly a hindrance, a nuisance, a subtle or not so subtle philistinism. "Against Interpretation" (1964), p. 5

„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 only 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
Context: 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 only 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. Illness As Metaphor (1978), foreword, p. 3,

„Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of Fascism. Fascism with a human face.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Not only is Fascism (and overt military rule) the probable destiny of all Communist societies — especially when their populations are moved to revolt — but Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of Fascism. Fascism with a human face. Speech, Town Hall, New York City (6 Februaty 1982), reported in "Susan Sontag Provokes Debate on Communism" http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/03/12/specials/sontag-communism.html, The New York Times (27 February 1982), p. 27

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