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On Photography (1984)

de Susan Sontag

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2,740353,847 (4.01)35
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."… (més)
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TL;DR photography is cool.

Also, it makes me want Sontag's hot takes on the rise of cell phone photography. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
There’s at least one photo project on every page of this classic work on photography and there’s good reason for that. Sontag writes eloquently and persuasively about the medium and its influence on our societies. Despite being written in the late 1970s, it’s also extremely accurate about the current state of the art with the rise in mobile phone camera use.

Some of her ideas she repudiated apparently in her later essay On Regarding the Pain of Others. But almost all her musings have become entrenched in how photography is now seen and critiqued. In short, judging from how others have written about On Photography, it seems it had more of an influence than even she could have realised.

The influence of this work is reflected below in the rating I awarded for Legacy. Very few books attain 100% in this category, but Sontag’s work deserves this.

No one is going to agree with all the opinions she puts forward here, but by writing in the style that she did, at the time that she did, and being the contraversial character that she was, she sparked untold myriad of discussions about the art and photography has never been the same since.

The book isn’t an easy read. Sontag was an intellectual giant and it can be hard to keep up with her references at times. Right off the bat, you need a familiarity with Plato, and Wikipedia will be your friend and companion throughout the journey.

It is, however, a very rewarding read. For those of us involved in photography, there’s an assignment on virtually every page. You could spend an entire photographic life exploring all the questions her writing demands we attempt to answer.

There are plenty of people out there who feel Sontag was wide of the mark with some of her observations, but there are also so many who feel she was spot on. Again, the importance of On Photography lies not in the definitive answers it gives us but the very important questions it asks. ( )
  arukiyomi | Dec 27, 2020 |
Incisive analysis of the role of photography/photographer, particularly in American culture. ( )
  beaujoe | Dec 26, 2020 |
This is a very useful critical anthology of writings by Sontag on the topic of photography. Each paper has strengths and weaknesses in its own right. Personally I felt that it started weakly, on a semi-philosophical drive into the history of photography, but late papers (particularly "The Heroism of Vision" and "The Image-World") offer up deep insights into the technology and art historical criticism of photography. These are fascinating, and have made this a thoroughly worthwhile read. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
A fantastic series of essays about photography that temper my love for it and reflect back at me some of the important criticism of its value. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Susan Sontagautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Jāne, ArtaEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kolmane, IevaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vērpe, KārlisEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zābere, IngrīdaDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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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."

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Mitjana: (4.01)
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Penguin Australia

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