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On Photography

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On Photography Cover

ISBN13: 9780312420093
ISBN10: 0312420099
Condition: Standard
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Staff Pick

Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as metaphor. On Photography is one of her seminal works, wherein she redefines and examines ways of seeing, representation, and reality. As Sontag writes in the first essay, "In Plato's Cave," "To collect photographs is to collect the world," and On Photography radically expands our consciousness of what it is to live in such a place.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

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

Review:

"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A book of great importance and originality....All future discussion or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies are now bound to begin with her book." John Berger

Review:

"Not many photographs are worth a thousand of [Susan Sontag's] words." Robert Hughes, Time

Review:

"After Sontag, photography must be written about not only as a force in the arts, but as one that is increasingly powerful in the nature and destiny of our global society." Newsweek

Review:

"On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject." Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker

About the Author

Susan Sontag was the author of four novels, including In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction; a collection of stories; several plays; and seven works of nonfiction. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

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

ISBN:
9780312420093
Author:
Sontag, Susan
Publisher:
Picador USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Photography, Artistic
Subject:
General Photography
Subject:
Theory
Subject:
Photography-Theory and Criticism
Subject:
Criticism -- Theory.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series Volume:
632
Publication Date:
20010831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in

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On Photography Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Picador USA - English 9780312420093 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as metaphor. On Photography is one of her seminal works, wherein she redefines and examines ways of seeing, representation, and reality. As Sontag writes in the first essay, "In Plato's Cave," "To collect photographs is to collect the world," and On Photography radically expands our consciousness of what it is to live in such a place.

"Review" by , "A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years."
"Review" by , "Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way."
"Review" by , "A book of great importance and originality....All future discussion or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies are now bound to begin with her book."
"Review" by , "Not many photographs are worth a thousand of [Susan Sontag's] words."
"Review" by , "After Sontag, photography must be written about not only as a force in the arts, but as one that is increasingly powerful in the nature and destiny of our global society."
"Review" by , "On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject."
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