Susan Sontag , in "Against Interpretation," takes a very interesting critical standpoint on the idea of literary interpretation. Unlike most literary critics, Sontag believes that literary criticism is growing increasingly destructive towards the very works of art that they, supposedly, so greatly "appreciate" and "respect. Reading her work generates numerous questions, the most important of which is quite possibly, "How are we to take her final statement Regarding the Pain of Others , by Susan Sontag In Regarding the Pain of Others , Susan Sontag asks the reader to think about how our engagement with a photograph affects our understanding of suffering and war. Sontag evaluates the use of images and the role of photography in representing how the interpretation of images is heavily influenced by context, and the effect that these representations have on us.
Regarding The Torture Of Others
Regarding the Pain of Oprah
Susan Sontag — holds our morality in high regard and approaches it as one would a beloved old glove: beats it up a bit to keep the fibers supple and responsive. In Regarding the Pain of Others , Sontag deals with the limits of compassion, particularly as it pertains to visual imagery. Do photographs make something more real and therefore imperative? Or are we so saturated with images it neutralizes their power? For a long time some people believed that if the horror could be made vivid enough, most people would finally take in the outrageousness, the insanity of war. Principally in the form that is registered by cameras, it flares up, is shared by many people, and fades from view.
Regarding the Pain of Others
This is Susan Sontag's second book on photography and, like the first, published in , it contains no photographs. Omission or suppression? Sontag is concerned with photography's prurient intrusiveness, its surreal dislocation of reality, its irrelevant aestheticism. Actual photographs are of less interest to her, and are mentioned, in stern verbal paraphrase, only to be reproved for their untrustworthiness. Her earlier book concluded with a call for 'an ecology of images', censuring and perhaps censoring the visual stimuli with which a consumerist society assaults us.
These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own. Regarding the Pain of Others is an interesting, detailed explication of a subject Sontag touched on in her previous work, On Photography , but one that she felt needed some further explanation: the use of war photography as a medium by which the public might be awakened to the horrifying reality of the realm of warfare. Regarding the Pain of Others is a book-length essay that wanders all around the crucial thesis, exploring various aspects of both the subject and the medium before declaring a verdict on its efficacy. She goes about her argument with her characteristically straightforward prose, making the text readily accessible for a general audience, yet with a dignity and professionalism that causes even the hardest critic to contemplate her argument fairly.