On Photography (Penguin Modern Classics)

September 3, 2019 - Comment

Susan Sontag’s On Photography is a seminal and groundbreaking work on the subject. Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to

Susan Sontag’s On Photography is a seminal and groundbreaking work on the subject.

Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to shock, idealize or seduce, they create a sense of nostalgia and act as a memorial, and they can be used as evidence against us or to identify us. In these six incisive essays, Sontag examines the ways in which we use these omnipresent images to manufacture a sense of reality and authority in our lives.

‘Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites’The Times

‘A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world, and at ourselves’Washington Post

‘The most original and illuminating study of the subject’New Yorker

One of America’s best-known and most admired writers, Susan Sontag was also a leading commentator on contemporary culture until her death in December 2004. Her books include four novels and numerous works of non-fiction, among them Regarding the Pain of Others, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, At the Same Time, Against Interpretation and Other Essays and Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1963, all of which are published by Penguin. A further eight books, including the collections of essays Under the Sign of Saturn and Where the Stress Falls, and the novels The Volcano Lover and The Benefactor, are available from Penguin Modern Classics.

Susan Sontag’s On Photography is a seminal and groundbreaking work on the subject.

Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to shock, idealize or seduce, they create a sense of nostalgia and act as a memorial, and they can be used as evidence against us or to identify us. In these six incisive essays, Sontag examines the ways in which we use these omnipresent images to manufacture a sense of reality and authority in our lives.

‘Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites’The Times

‘A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world, and at ourselves’Washington Post

‘The most original and illuminating study of the subject’New Yorker

One of America’s best-known and most admired writers, Susan Sontag was also a leading commentator on contemporary culture until her death in December 2004. Her books include four novels and numerous works of non-fiction, among them Regarding the Pain of Others, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, At the Same Time, Against Interpretation and Other Essays and Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1963, all of which are published by Penguin. A further eight books, including the collections of essays Under the Sign of Saturn and Where the Stress Falls, and the novels The Volcano Lover and The Benefactor, are available from Penguin Modern Classics.

Comments

Anonymous says:

A fascinating book. A fascinating book, that is incredibly prescient. Much of what Sontag says applies to today’s culture of images. While she didn’t foresee the massive proliferation of images that exist today – notably the self-referential nature of a lot of photography – her insights are spot on. Sontag was writing in the 1970s, when photography – especially color photography – was becoming more commonplace, and she nails many of the cultural and sociological aspects of photographs. A must read for anyone who…

Anonymous says:

Classic text on photography to read again and again. … Classic text on photography to read again and again. If you want think think more about photography and what it means and how it works aesthetically and in society this is a must.

Anonymous says:

Image as Icon This is the world of the 1960s and ’70s when paper print photographs seemed to be everywhere and yet were in fact few and far between compared to the ubiquitous image creation and retention of the digital era. Nonetheless, the modern reader can easily comprehend the technical, psychological, social and artistic embedding of photography that Sontag offers on these pages. Highly perceptive, succinct, sensitive analysis of visual image reproduction which had come into its own during the interwar…

Comments are disabled for this post.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk