On Photography

ISBN-10: 0312420099
ISBN-13: 9780312420093
Edition: Revised 
List price: $17.00 Buy it from $5.99
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 8/25/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.440

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.”

Susan Sontag, an influential cultural critic with a Harvard master's degree in philosophy, is noted for taking radical positions and venturing outrageous interpretations. Proclaiming a "new sensibility," she supported the cause of pop art and underground films in the 1960s. Her reputation as a formidable critic has been established by numerous reviews, essays, and articles in the New York Review of Books, the N.Y. Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. Against Interpretation (1966) includes her controversial essay "Notes on Camp," first published in Partisan Review. The title of the book introduces her argument against what she sees as the distortion of an original work by the countless critics who bend it to their own interpretations. "The aim of all commentary on art," she writes, "should be to make works of art---and, by analogy, our own experience---more, rather than less, real to us." Sontag has a mature modernist sensibility, but manages to depict the avant-garde in language accessible to any reader. She has lectured extensively around the United States and has taught philosophy at Harvard, Sarah Lawrence, and Columbia. She is a frequent and popular television discussion personality, particularly on contemporary issues of illness or feminism, although many feminists are unhappy that she does not declare herself to be a "feminist critic." She is also, less successfully, a fiction writer.

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