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On Photography


On Photography Cover

ISBN13: 9780312420093
ISBN10: 0312420099
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Publisher Comments:

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 Platos Cave”essay, then offers five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a fascinating and far-reaching “Brief Anthology of Quotations.”

About the Author

Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America; I, Etcetera, a collection of stories; several plays; and five works of nonfiction, among them Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.

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Lindsay Waite, August 22, 2012 (view all comments by Lindsay Waite)
Many of us take a countless number of photos, and with Facebook and other websites, we also now view many more photos than in the past. Susan Sontag thoughtfully explores the meaning of photos and photography in a series of essays published over years in "The New York Review of Books" in the 1970s. The book opens with "Plato's Cave," one of my favorite topics and certainly relevant to photography. She posits: "Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth." (p.3) Interesting, as she writes in these early years about the growing popularity of photography, she anticipates an "image-choked world." (p.15) This series of essays explores the value of photos in showing us places we will never see in person (creating a "substitute world" -p.162), its role in desensitizing viewers to horrors, and its essence of being an image of reality - not reality (Plato's cave). Sontag analyzes cultural and historical views of the nature of photography, and explores how certain filmmakers captured the art of image-making. This is a fascinating collection. Her thoughts resonate even more loudly today.
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Product Details

Sontag, Susan
Picador USA
New York
Photography, Artistic
General Photography
Photography-Theory and Criticism
Criticism -- Theory.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.27 x 5.67 x 0.65 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » How To
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Sale Books
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » General
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Theory and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books

On Photography New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Picador USA - English 9780312420093 Reviews:
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