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Sontag, Susan Regarding the Pain of Others

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Regarding the Pain of Others

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From Goya's Disasters of War to news footage and photographs of the conflicts in Vietnam, Rwanda and Bosnia, pictures have been charged with inspiring dissent, fostering violence or instilling apathy in us, the viewer. Regarding the Pain of Others will alter our thinking not only about the uses and meanings of images, but about the nature of war, the limits of sympathy, and the obligations of conscience.

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About the Author:
Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. Her non-fiction works include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, AIDS and its Metaphors and Regarding the Pain of Others. She is also the author of four novels, a collection of stories and several plays. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.
From Publishers Weekly:
Twenty-six years after the publication of her influential collection of essays On Photography (1977), Sontag (In America) reconsiders ideas that are "now fast approaching the status of platitudes," especially the view that our capacity to respond to images of war and atrocity is being dulled by "the relentless diffusion of vulgar and appalling images" in our rapaciously media-driven culture. Sontag opens by describing Virginia Woolf's essay on the roots of war, "Three Guineas," in which Woolf described a set of gruesome photographs of mutilated bodies and buildings destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Woolf wondered if there truly can be a "we" between man and woman in matters of war. Sontag sets out to reopen and enlarge the question. "No `we' should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain," she writes. The "we" that Sontag has come to be much more aware of in the decades since On Photography is the world of the rich. She has come to doubt her youthful contention that repeated exposure to images of suffering necessarily shrivels sympathy, and she doubts even more the radical yet influential spin that others put on this critique-that reality itself has become a spectacle. "To speak of reality becoming a spectacle... universalizes the viewing habits of a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world...." Sontag reminds us that sincerity can turn a mere spectator into a witness, and that it is the heart rather than fancy rhetoric that can lead the mind to understanding.
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Regarding the Pain of Others is Susan Sontag's searing analysis of our numbed response to images of horror.'A coruscating sermon on how we picture suffering' The New York TimesWhat is the purpose of images of pain and suffering? Can there be any real justification for the creation, and consumption, of such images?In this seminal volume, Susan Sontag examines the uses and meanings of images, from inspiring dissent to fostering violence to creating apathy. And through this lens she considers the nature of war, the limits of sympathy, and the obligations of conscience.'A far-reaching set of ruminations [.] on what it means to be alive and alert in the twenty-first century' Independent'Sontag is on top form: devastating' Los Angeles Times'Simple, elegant, fiercely persuasive' Metro. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780141012377

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