Regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary

Regarding the, pain of, others - wikipedia

regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary

Regarding the, pain of, others,"s by, susan

But into this "we after the pages devoted to the feminist point, she then subsides. No "we" should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain. who are the "we" at whom such shock-pictures are aimed? That "we" would include not just the sympathizers of a smallish nation or a stateless people fighting for its life, but — a far larger constituency — those only nominally concerned about some nasty war taking place in another country. The photographs are a means of making "real" (or "more real matters that the privileged and the merely safe might prefer to ignore. "Here then on the table before us are photographs woolf writes of the thought experiment she is proposing to the reader as well as to the spectral lawyer, who is eminent enough, as she mentions, to have. C., king's counsel, after his name — and may or may not be a real person. Imagine then a spread of loose photographs extracted from an envelope that arrived in the morning post.

Regarding the, pain of, others, by, susan

Nevertheless, the temerity of woolf's version of "Why war?" does not make her revulsion against war any less conventional in its rhetoric, in its summations, rich in repeated phrases. And photographs of the victims of war are themselves a species of rhetoric. They create the illusion of consensus. Invoking this hypothetical shared experience we are seeing with you the same dead bodies, the same ruined houses woolf professes to believe that the shock of such pictures cannot fail to unite people of good will. To be sure, woolf and the unnamed addressee of this book-length letter are not any two people. Although they are separated by the age-old affinities of feeling and practice of their respective sexes, as woolf has reminded him, the lawyer is hardly a standard-issue bellicose male. His antiwar opinions are no more in doubt than are hers. After all, his question was not, What are your thoughts about preventing war? It was, how in your opinion are we to prevent war? It is this "we" that woolf challenges at the start of her book: she refuses to allow her interlocutor to take a "we" for granted.

And we echo your words. War is an abomination; a barbarity; war must be stopped. Who believes today that war can be abolished? No one, not even pacifists. We hope only (so far in vain) to stop genocide and to bring to justice those who commit gross violations of the laws of war (for there are laws of war, to which combatants should be held and to be able to stop specific wars. It may florida be hard to credit the desperate resolve produced by the aftershock of the first World War, when the realization of the ruin Europe had brought on itself took hold. Condemning war as such did not seem so futile or irrelevant in the wake of the paper fantasies of the kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, in which fifteen leading nations, including the United States, France, great Britain, germany, italy, and Japan, solemnly renounced war. Three guineas, appearing toward the close of nearly two decades of plangent denunciations of war, offered the originality (which made this the least well received of all her books) of focusing on what was regarded as too obvious or inapposite to be mentioned, much less.

regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary

Observer review: Regarding the, pain of, others

A bomb has torn open the side; there is still a bird-cage hanging in what was presumably the sitting room. The quickest, driest way to convey the inner commotion caused by these photographs is by noting that one can't always make out the subject, so thorough is the ruin of flesh and stone they depict. And from there woolf speeds to her conclusion. We do have the same responses, "however different the education, the traditions behind us she says to the lawyer. Her evidence: both "we" — here women are the "we" — and you might well respond in the same words. You, sir, call them "horror and disgust." we also call them horror and disgust. War, you say, is an abomination; a barbarity; war must be stopped at whatever cost.

Regarding the, pain of, others : Susan Sontag

regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary

Regarding the pain of Others

Regarding the, pain of, others, by, susan, sontag, picador. Copyright 2003, susan, sontag, all rights reserved. In June 1938 Virginia woolf published. Three guineas, her brave, unwelcomed reflections on the roots of war. Written during the preceding two years, while she and most of her intimates and fellow writers were rapt by the advancing fascist insurrection in Spain, the book was couched as the very tardy reply to a letter from an eminent lawyer in London who had. For though they belong to the same class, "the educated class a vast gulf separates them: the lawyer is write a man and she is a woman.

Men (most men) like war, since for men there is "some glory, some necessity, some satisfaction in fighting" that women (most women) do not feel or enjoy. What does an educated — read: privileged, well-off — woman like her know of war? Can her recoil from its allure be like his? Let us test this "difficulty of communication woolf proposes, by looking together at images of war. The images are some of the photographs the beleaguered Spanish government has been sending out twice a week; she footnotes: "Written in the winter of 193637." Let's see, woolf writes, "whether when we look at the same photographs we feel the same things." She continues. But those certainly are dead children, and that undoubtedly is the section of a house.

Even the fully accessible materials, meanwhile, exist in so many versions that the hapless researcher not trained in computer forensics is quickly overwhelmed. Nevertheless, the changes for scholars are pretty thrilling. We can experience a born-digital collection as a whole: unlike a traditional print archive, composed of box after box of folder after folder, the sontag digital materials all sit in a single machine right in front. At the same time, we have far more targeted ways to enter into a digital archive. We can try simple keyword searches across all of Sontags emails or explore more elaborate operations made possible by software programs like gephi, muse, and BitCurator.


Sontag is — serendipitously, it seems — an ideal subject for exploring the new horizon of the born-digital archive, for the tension between preservation and flux that the electronic archive renders visible is anticipated in Sontags own writing. Any sontag lover knows that the author was an inveterate list-maker. Her journals (published in 20, with a third volume on the way) are filled with lists, her best-known essay, notes on Camp (1964 takes the form of a list, and now we know that her computer was filled with lists as well: of movies. In 1967, the young Sontag explains what she calls her compulsion to make lists in her diary. She writes that by making lists, i perceive value, i confer value, i create value, i even create — or guarantee — existence. As reviewers are fond of noting, the list emerges from Sontags diaries as the authors signature form. And its a strange form at that: the list is a potentially infinite structure made up of distilled, often epigrammatic parts. Its a form that expands and contracts to meet the needs of its author; it may be brief or expansive, important or ephemeral, and, in Sontags hands, it takes on many roles: an argument or an organizer, an aide-mémoire or a way of conferring value. The result of her compulsion not just to inventory but to reduce the world to a collection of scrutable parts, the list, sontags archive makes clear, is always unstable, always ready to be added to or subtracted from.

Susan Sontag : regarding the pain of Others

Every time it logs out or reboots, the laptop goes back to ground zero. The folders youve opened slam shut. The files youve explored dont change their Last Accessed dates. The notes youve typed disappear. Its like you were never there. Despite writers these measures, real limitations to our ability to harness digital archives remain. The born-digital portion of the sontag collection was donated as a pair of external hard drives, and that portion is composed of documents that began their lives electronically and in most cases exist only in digital form. While preparing those digital files for use, ucla archivists accidentally allowed certain dates to refresh while the materials were in thaw mode; the metadata then had to be painstakingly un-revised. More problematically, a significant number of files open as unreadable strings of symbols because the software with how which they were created is long out of date.

regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary

Through a combination of hardware and software interventions, the deep Freeze program preserves (at the binary level of 0s and 1s) a particular desired configuration in order to maintain the authenticity and preservation of data. In the case of the sontag materials, the end result of deep Freeze and a series of other processing procedures is a single ibm laptop, which researchers can request at the Special Collections desk at uclas Research Library. That laptop has some funky features. You cant read its content from home, even with a vpn, because the files arent online. You cant live-tweet your research progress from the laptop — or access the internet at all — because the machines connectivity features have been disabled. You cant copy Annie leibovitzs first-ever email — mat and I just wanted to let you homework know we really are working at this. See you at dinner. Xxxxxannie (subject line: my first Email) — onto your thumb drive because the usb port is locked. And, clearly, you cant save a new document, even if your desire to type yourself into recent intellectual history is formidable.

files in a manner that protects them from degradation, alteration, and theft with the goal of making them reasonably accessible to scholars. And at a moment when digital connotes connectivity and flux, the goal of digital preservation itself can seem something of a paradox. At one level that paradox is nothing new. All archival labor negotiates the twin responsibilities of preservation and access. The ucla archivists hope to provide researchers with an opportunity to encounter the old-school, non-digital portion of the sontag collection in something close to its original order and form, but while processing that collection they remove paper clips (problem: rust) and rubber bands (problems: degradation. They know that original order is something of a fantasy: in archival theory, that phrase generally signifies the state of the collection at the moment of donation, but that state itself is often open to interpretation. Microsoft Word docs, emails, jpegs, and MP3s add a whole slew of new decisions to this delicate balancing act. The archivist must wrangle these sorts of files into usable formats by addressing problems of outdated hardware and software, proliferating versions of documents, and the ease with which such files change and update on their own. A key tool in the war on Flux sounds a bit like a comic-book villain: deep Freeze.

That laptop makes visible all of her digital files and presents the entirety of her email correspondence, thus making extraordinarily open and available the digital life of this most private of American public intellectuals. This born-digital archive preserves the important — drafts of Sontags essays, for example — alongside the considerably less. Surely some scholar for will find value in Sontags e-correspondence about. Regarding the pain of Others, but how much can we glean from her computers small music library (which, for the record, is heavy on the Édith piaf and Jacques Brel)? Or, to pose this question more drastically: is there anything of value in the article on the low carb craze forwarded to sontag by her son in August 2004? Was Sontag perhaps flirting with an Atkins diet? How much information is just too much information? What are we to do with this overmuchness, this plenitude, the sheer crowdedness that is Sontags digital life?

Regarding the pain of Others susan Sontag download

Susan sontags essay against Interpretation is best known for its concluding pocket-sized maxim: In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art. The setup for that resume declaration is a repetitive series of complaints about the sheer multiplication, excess, overproduction, material plenitude, and sheer crowdedness (whew!) of contemporary urban existence. For Sontag, writing in 1964, the principle of redundancy is the principal affliction of modern life. An erotics of art would counter that affliction by attending to the stylistic singularities of great works. The ideal critic would attend, lovingly and sensuously, to what stood out from the excess and redundancy. Her job would be to see more, to hear more, to feel more. Put simply, more was both Sontags problem and her proffered solution. The recent making-available (in mid-2014) of Sontags entire digital life to researchers visiting ucla library Special Collections presents a new, quite literal window onto this double bind. Scholars and curious Sontagolytes can now check out a laptop that reproduces the basic folder structure of Sontags computers (a power Mac G4, an ibook) from the 1990s and early 2000s.


regarding the pain of others susan sontag summary
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3 Comment

  1. In Regarding the pain of Others, susan Sontag takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity-from goya s The disasters of War to photographs of the American civil War, lynchings of blacks in the south, and the nazi death camps, to contemporary horrific images. In Regarding the pain of Others, susan Sontag examines the manner in which war is perceived, taking into account such factors as sex, culture and status. She contends that war imagery is open to both interpretation and manipulation. Regarding the pain of Others by susan Sontag Hamish Hamilton.99, pp128.

  2. Susan Sontag ( ) was an American writer, critic, cultural philosopher and political activist. She achieved widespread recognition through her collections of essays, Against Interpretation (1966 On Photography (1977) and Regarding the pain of Others (2004). Susan Sontag s Exploration of pain How do you cope with violent imagery depicted on the news, in documentaries, and even in fiction? War and violence are pervasive aspects of the culture we live. In Susan Sontag s Regarding the pain of Others, the author explores the impact of visual representations of suffering on the world.

  3. It was her last published book before her death in 2004. It is regarded by many to be a follow-up or addendum to On Photography, despite the fact that the two essay collections convey, sontag s radically different opinions about photography. Sontag does not give us easy answers, because the act of looking at other people s pain is uncomfortable, and probably should always be uncomfortable. No amount of essaying about it should take that uncomfortableness away.

  4. South, and the, nazi death camps, to contemporary horrific images of, bosnia, sierra leone, rwanda, israel and Palestine, and New York city on September 11, 2001. Susan Sontag wrote, regarding the pain of Others as a means of exploring peoples reactions to photography, particularly war photography, and what can and cannot be gained from war photography. Susan Sontag wrote extensively about the power of images, especially war photojournalism. Regarding the pain of Others is a 2003 book-length essay. Susan Sontag, which was nominated for the, national book critics Circle Award.

  5. Regarding The pain Of Others regarding the pain of others. Copyright 2003 by susan Sontag. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief"tions embodied in critical articles or reviews. Regarding the pain of Others, susan Sontag takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity-from goya s, the, disasters of, war to photographs of the, american civil War, lynchings of blacks in the.

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