Susan Sontag citations

Susan Sontag foto
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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)

„My library is an archive of longings.“

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

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„Interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities. Interpretation must itself be evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts, interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling. p. 6

„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.

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„One of my oldest crusades is against the distinction between thought and feeling... which is really the basis of all anti-intellectual views: the heart and the head, thinking and feeling, fantasy and judgment.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: One of my oldest crusades is against the distinction between thought and feeling... which is really the basis of all anti-intellectual views: the heart and the head, thinking and feeling, fantasy and judgment. We have more or less the same bodies, but very different kinds of thoughts. I believe that we think much more with the instruments provided by our culture than we do with our bodies, and hence the much greater diversity of thought in the world. Thinking is a form of feeling; feeling is a form of thinking. "Susan Sontag: The Rolling Stone Interview" with Jonathan Cott (1978; published 4 October 1979)

„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.

„Literature offers not only myths but counter-myths, just as life offers counter-experiences — experiences that confound what you thought you thought, or felt, or believed.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: Literature is dialogue; responsiveness. Literature might be described as the history of human responsiveness to what is alive and what is moribund as cultures evolve and interact with one another. Writers can do something to combat these clichés of our separateness, our difference — for writers are makers, not just transmitters, of myths. Literature offers not only myths but counter-myths, just as life offers counter-experiences — experiences that confound what you thought you thought, or felt, or believed.

„To me, literature is a calling, even a kind of salvation. It connects me with an enterprise that is over 2,000 years old. What do we have from the past? Art and thought. That's what lasts. That's what continues to feed people and give them an idea of something better.“

— Susan Sontag
Context: To me, literature is a calling, even a kind of salvation. It connects me with an enterprise that is over 2,000 years old. What do we have from the past? Art and thought. That's what lasts. That's what continues to feed people and give them an idea of something better. A better state of one's feelings or simply the idea of a silence in one's self that allows one to think or to feel. Which to me is the same. "Susan Sontag Finds Romance," interview by Leslie Garis, The New York Times (2 August 1992)

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„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. [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,,635799,00.html "The Risk Taker"], profile/interview by Gary Younge, The Guardian (19 January 2002)

„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)

„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 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?“

— 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)

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