Born Susan Rosenblatt (1933-2004) to Lithuanian Jewish parents, Susan and her only son David Rieff would unapologetically change their given family name to Sontag. The very notion of "style" needs to be approached historically. Susan Sontag’s seminal mid-60s essay has come up several times at this site. Although Sander claimed merely to be documenting the social order, Sontag says he in fact "adjusted his style to the social rank of the person he was photographing." To hold a (good) book in your hand is, as Anne Michaels wrote in Fugitive Pieces, to be  “a pilgrim at the gates of a new city.” Susan Sontag‘s Against Interpretation, particularly the opening essays, is exemplary of just such a book. Sontag: Her Life and Work (2019) written by Benjamin Moser, totally captures the complexities of this dark literary lady and cultural icon. Essentially, the debate over the fraught relationship between "style" and "content" is about where Sontag left it. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. Sontag proceeds with a healthy quantity of skepticism. Against Interpretation, By Susan Sontag. . I love reading things that introduce me to a new way of thinking. Summary Sections 1–3. By Benjamin Moser. Art is not only about something; it is something. I’ve been busy rereading it since Xmas, and want to take this chance to set down some thoughts regarding it. Does only the greatest art perform the "moral service" Sontag associates with the "intelligent gratification of consciousness"? It would be more to the point to reverse the metaphor. Your email address will not be published. This is Sontag's 'take' on pop culture, that it can be selectively accredited with some importance. But it is, obviously, putting art to use--for such purposes as inquiring into the history of ideas, diagnosing contemporary culture, or creating social solidarity. Sunday 23 October 2011 08:10. While, as I mentioned, I find Sontag’s argument a useful and compelling new lens for looking at the world and art, her devaluation of the “content” aspect of art strikes me as over-hasty, and narrow—much as she chides Lukacs in a later essay for discounting modernist fiction as bourgeois and naive, I find the implicit discrediting of the importance of narrative in art (see Martha Nussbaum) and the whole mimetic tradition to be somewhat frivolous. Customer support all-time availability: Our customer support representatives are available 24/7 for your help, be it night or day. The very notion of "style" needs to be approached historically. … I think Sontag felt the need to underscore her case by overvaluing form above content. In fact, such a disjunction is extremely rare. On Style. but which remain in perpetual danger of being compromised by art. Reviewed, Brandon Robshaw. A work of art encountered as a work of art is an experience, not a statement or an answer to a question. They are "moral" insofar as they are good things to exercise, but I can't see that an explicit justification of them--and thus of aesthetic experience itself--on moral grounds is otherwise relevant. Sontag investigates the work of photographers like August Sander (1876–1964), who cataloged German people at various socioeconomic levels. Popular AMA APA (6th edition) APA ... “In Plato’s Cave” Summary | Nude Answers, 2016) Your Bibliography: Nudeanswers.com. Sontag: Book summary and reviews of Sontag by Benjamin Moser. On this issue a pious consensus prevails. For it is sensibility that nourishes our capacity for moral choice, and prompts our readiness to act, assuming that we do choose, which is a prerequisite for calling an act moral, and are not just blindly and unreflectingly obeying. . Spiritual Style in the Films of Robert Bresson. For the problem of art versus morality is a pseudo problem. Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was a novelist, playwright, filmmaker, and one of the most influential critics of her generation. . You’ll have to forgive me for groaning a little when she began the essay. « A Tradition of Anti-Traditional Writing | To argue on these grounds at all, seeking to defend the autonomy of art. These pictures, taken by American soldiers, on the surface tell a story of torture of those that were captured and detained in Abu Ghraib. In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a ... Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture. Susan Sontag wrote four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for fiction; a collection of stories, I, etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed; and eight books of essays, among them On Photography, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Related Topics. Sontag in fact asserts that style is the most important element in a work of art, and it is style (which sometimes appears as a short-hand for “form”) that is the specifically aesthetic quality of a work of art, and therefore deserves the most attention. American twentieth century as Susan Sontag - art History bibliographies - in Harvard style move. 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