On Photography

January 21, 2020 - Comment

Winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Criticism. One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as “a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs.” It begins with the famous “In Plato’s Cave”essay, then offers five

Winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Criticism.

One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, On Photography first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as “a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs.” It begins with the famous “In Plato’s Cave”essay, then offers five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a fascinating and far-reaching “Brief Anthology of Quotations.”

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Comments

Anonymous says:

“Photography, which has so many narcissistic uses, it … “Photography, which has so many narcissistic uses, it also a powerful instrument for depersonalizing our relation to the world.” This statement is emblematic of the author’s attitude throughout her dazzling but ultimately deflating analysis of photography. Sontag’s intellect is unquestionably clear-eyed and sharp, but her consistent comparisons of photography to consumption, theft, and even rape wore me down as a reader. I don’t have the rhetorical muscle to challenge her points and…

Anonymous says:

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Anonymous says:

Poorly aged musings of an artist who is not a very good philosopher I’m through the first chapter so far it’s communicated a lot of very simplistic, redundant statements to me. They’re good, I suppose, but the rest is just babble….comparing cameras to guns, penises…yeesh. She observes things through very small frames that fall apart if you step outside of and question them for a moment. I’m reading it for a course and it has all the depth you’d expect from a photography theory (not much).

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