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

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„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)

„My library is an archive of longings.“

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

„I guess I think I'm writing for people who are smarter than I am, because then I'll be doing something that's worth their time.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: I guess I think I'm writing for people who are smarter than I am, because then I'll be doing something that's worth their time. I'd be very afraid to write from a position where I consciously thought I was smarter than most of my readers. "The Risk Taker" http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,,635799,00.html, profile/interview by Gary Younge, The Guardian (19 January 2002)

„All modern wars, even when their aims are the traditional ones, such as territorial aggrandizement or the acquisition of scarce resources, are cast as clashes of civilizations — culture wars — with each side claiming the high ground, and characterizing the other as barbaric.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: All modern wars, even when their aims are the traditional ones, such as territorial aggrandizement or the acquisition of scarce resources, are cast as clashes of civilizations — culture wars — with each side claiming the high ground, and characterizing the other as barbaric. The enemy is invariably a threat to "our way of life," an infidel, a desecrator, a polluter, a defiler of higher or better values. The current war against the very real threat posed by militant Islamic fundamentalism is a particularly clear example.

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„Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: Not surprisingly, the Serbs are presenting themselves as the victims. (Clinton equals Hitler, etc.) But it is grotesque to equate the casualties inflicted by the NATO bombing with the mayhem inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people in the last eight years by the Serb programs of ethnic cleansing. Not all violence is equally reprehensible; not all wars are equally unjust. No forceful response to the violence of a state against peoples who are nominally its own citizens? (Which is what most "wars" are today. Not wars between states.) The principal instances of mass violence in the world today are those committed by governments within their own legally recognized borders. Can we really say there is no response to this? "Why Are We in Kosovo?", The New York Times (2 May 1999)

„In my view, there can be no compromise with such a vision. And, no, I don't think we have brought this upon ourselves, which is of course a view that has been attributed to me.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: But just because I am a critic of Israeli policy — and in particular the occupation, simply because it is untenable, it creates a border that cannot be defended — that does not mean I believe the U. S. has brought this terrorism on itself because it supports Israel. I believe bin Laden and his supporters are using this as a pretext. If we were to change our support for Israel overnight, we would not stop these attacks. I don't think this is what it's really about. I think it truly is a jihad, I think there is such a thing. There are many levels to Islamic rage. But what we're dealing with here is a view of the U. S. as a secular, sinful society that must be humbled, and this has nothing to do with any particular aspect of American policy. In my view, there can be no compromise with such a vision. And, no, I don't think we have brought this upon ourselves, which is of course a view that has been attributed to me.

„There is a peculiarly modern predilection for psychological explanations of disease, as of everything else.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: There is a peculiarly modern predilection for psychological explanations of disease, as of everything else. Psychologizing seems to provide control over the experiences and events (like grave illnesses) over which people have in fact little or no control. Psychological understanding undermines the "reality" of a disease. That reality has to be explained. (It really means; or is a symbol of; or must be interpreted so.) 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. 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. Illness As Metaphor (1978), ch. 7 (pp. 55-56)

„The discovery of the good taste of bad taste can be very liberating. The man who insists on high and serious pleasures is depriving himself of pleasure; he continually restricts what he can enjoy; in the constant exercise of his good taste he will eventually price himself out of the market, so to speak.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: The discovery of the good taste of bad taste can be very liberating. The man who insists on high and serious pleasures is depriving himself of pleasure; he continually restricts what he can enjoy; in the constant exercise of his good taste he will eventually price himself out of the market, so to speak. Here Camp taste supervenes upon good taste as a daring and witty hedonism. It makes the man of good taste cheerful, where before he ran the risk of being chronically frustrated. It is good for the digestion. "Notes on 'Camp'" (1964), note 54, p. 291

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„People do these things to other people. Not just in Nazi concentration camps and in Abu Ghraib when it was run by Saddam Hussein. Americans, too, do them when they have permission. When they are told or made to feel that those over whom they have absolute power deserve to be mistreated, humiliated, tormented.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: People do these things to other people. Not just in Nazi concentration camps and in Abu Ghraib when it was run by Saddam Hussein. Americans, too, do them when they have permission. When they are told or made to feel that those over whom they have absolute power deserve to be mistreated, humiliated, tormented. They do them when they are led to believe that the people they are torturing belong to an inferior, despicable race or religion. For the meaning of these pictures is not just that these acts were performed, but that their perpetrators had no sense that there was anything wrong in what the pictures show.

„Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.“

—  Susan Sontag
Context: 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, comformable. "Against Interpretation" (1964), p. 8

„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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