Susan Sontag Quotes
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Sanity is a cozy lie.
A family's photograph album is generally about the extended family and, often, is all that remains of it.
The taste for quotations (and for the juxtaposition of incongruous quotations) is a Surrealist taste.
A fiction about soft or easy deaths is part of the mythology of most diseases that are not considered shameful or demeaning.
What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.
In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.
Surrealism in painting amounted to little more than the contents of a meagerly stocked dream world: a few witty fantasies, mostly wet dreams and agoraphobic nightmares.
It is easier to endure than to change. But once one has changed, what was endured is hard to recall.
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.
Life is a movie; death is a photograph.
...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude.
Perversity is the muse of modern literature.
I urge you to be as impudent as you dare. BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BE BOLD.
Literature can train, and exercise, our ability to weep for those who are not us or ours.
All understanding begins with our not accepting the world as it appears.
In the valley of sorrow, spread your wings.
I don’t care about someone being intelligent; any situation between people, when they are really human with each other, produces ‘intelligence.
Kindness, kindness, kindness. I want to make a New Year's prayer, not a resolution. I'm praying for courage.
I'm only interested in people engaged in a project of self-transformation.
10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.
Tragedy is a vision of nihilism, a heroic or ennobling vision of nihilism.
Intelligence is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.
Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens and real diseases are useful material.
It hurts to love. It's like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.
The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own.
Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.
Lying is the most simple form of self-defence.
The possession of a camera can inspire something akin to lust. And like all credible forms of lust, it cannot be satisfied.
The taste for worst-case scenarios reflects the need to master fear of what is felt to be uncontrollable. It also expresses an imaginative complicity with disaster.
Photographers are always imposing
My idea of a writer: someone interested in everything.
Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.
The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes.
Being in love means being willing to ruin yourself for the other person.
There is an aggression implicit in every use of the camera.
To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.
To be an artist or a writer is to be this weird thing - a hand worker in an era of mass production.
How boring just to be a body.
The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.
The white race is the cancer of human history.
The past itself, as historical change continues to accelerate, has become the most surreal of subjects - making it possible... to see a new beauty in what is vanishing.
It is not the position, but the disposition.
The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.
A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcende nce.
Instead of just recording reality, photographs have become the norm for the way things appear to us, thereby changing the very idea of reality and of realism.
What I really wanted was every kind of life, and the writer’s life seemed the most inclusive.
Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love.