In another stroke of prescient and urgently timely insight, sontag considers this notion of content — perhaps the vilest term by which professional commodifiers refer to cultural material today — and how it defiles art: Interpretation, based on the highly dubious theory that a work. It makes art into an article for use, for arrangement into a mental scheme of categories. As an antidote to such violating interpretation, sontag points to making works of art whose surface is so unified and clean, whose momentum is so rapid, whose address is so direct that the work can be just what. In a sentiment that Wendell Berry would come to echo two decades later in his bewitching case for the value of form, sontag writes: What is needed, first, is more attention to form in art. If excessive stress on content provokes the arrogance of interpretation, more extended and more thorough descriptions of form would silence. What is needed is a vocabulary — a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, vocabulary — for forms. This notion of vocabulary once again calls to mind the modern fixation on content — a term by which no self-respecting writer or artist would refer to what she makes, and yet one forcefully seared onto writing and art by the tyrannical vocabulary of commercial.
Against susan essay susan sontag interpretation
Hate, after all, is a form of online interpretation — a particularly reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling one. In a remark astoundingly timely in our age of lazy reactivity and snap-judgments, often dispensed from behind the veil of anonymity, sontag illuminates the underlying psychology of such interpretations with piercing precision: Interpretation is not simply the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius. It is, indeed, the modern way of understanding something, and is applied to works of every quality. Interpretation, she argues, is at its most perilous when applied to the arts: Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world — in order to set up a shadow world of meanings. It is to turn the world into this world. As if there were any other.). Susan Sontags diary meditations on art, illustrated by wendy macNaughton, in a spectacular answer to the eternal and elusive question of what art is and what its duties are, she adds: real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work proper of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.
Interpretation must itself be evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts, interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling. Today is such a time, when the project of interpretation is largely reactionary, stifling. Although Sontag presaged with astounding accuracy the compulsions of the social web, one cant help but wince at a gruesome modern illustration of her point: I recently witnessed a commenter on Facebook throw a rather unwholesome epithet write at Sontag herself, in reacting solely. In that respect, sontags condemnation of such reactionary cowardice echoes the insightful observation kierkegaard — another peer whose ideas she absorbed early and revisited over her lifetime — made in his diary a century earlier, contemplating the psychology of why haters hate.
But he cant admit to doing this. He claims to be only making it intelligible, by disclosing its true meaning. However far the interpreters alter the text they must claim to be reading off a sense that is already there. This, of course, warrants the necessary meta-observation that Sontags now-iconic essay was perhaps, at least on some level, her way of admonishing people like you and me against interpreting her own work to its detriment — that is, misinterpreting it, or merely over-interpreting. Even half a century ago, in fact, sontag was wary of the violence embedded in the act itself: The contemporary zeal for the project of interpretation is often prompted by an open aggressiveness The old style of interpretation was insistent, but respectful; it erected another. The modern style of interpretation excavates, and as it excavates, destroys. Interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities.
Sontag essay beauty susan summary - www
She also referred to the movie, peeping Tom, in which a psychopath kills women with a weapon cloaked inside his camera (Sontag 13). This subconscious desire, sontag adds, could be evident when people speak of loading or aiming a camera. There are no facts, only interpretations, nietzsche wrote in his notebook in the late 1880s. Nearly a century later, susan Sontag (January 16, 1933December 28, 2004 perhaps his only true intellectual peer in the history of human internship thought, used nietzsches assertion as the springboard for one of the greatest essays ever written — her 1964 resume masterwork Against Interpretation, found. Against Interpretation and Other Essays ( public library ). Sontag — a woman of penetrating and enduring insight on such aspects of the human experience as courage and resistance, the aesthetic consumerism of visual culture, the clash between beauty and interestingness, and how stereotypes imprison us — examines our cultures generally well-intentioned but ultimately.
Portrait of Susan Sontag by peter Hujar, 1975, from. Hide/seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Only thirty-one at the time but already with two decades of intense and intensive reading under her belt, sontag writes: Interpretation presupposes a discrepancy between the clear meaning of the text and the demands of (later) readers. It seeks to resolve that discrepancy. The situation is that for some reason a text has become unacceptable; yet it cannot be discarded. Interpretation is a radical strategy for conserving an old text, which is thought too precious to repudiate, by revamping. The interpreter, without actually erasing or rewriting the text, is altering.
This most recent edition features a new afterword by sontag. "Susan Sontag's essays are great interpretations, and even fulfillments, of what is really going." —carlos fuentes "She has come to symbolize the writer and thinker in many variations: as analyst, rhapsodist, and roving eye, as public scold and portable conscience." —. Time magazine "A dazzling intellectual performance." —, vogue. The psychological effects photography has on a persons mind, for example, is vast. Sontag reveals, It is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power. Photography is a social rite, in that cameras go with family life: they keep the accomplishments of family members for reminiscence (Sontag 8).
Photography has been hugely implemented into families and all institutions, as Sontag points out, not turning up for ones graduation picture is a sign of adolescent rebellion. In many situations, taking photos is expected, or else one is looked down upon. To assuage anxiety, people, especially tourists, snap pictures to keep as memoirs, and their motivation can even be to, as people from cultures with high work ethics have, is to mimic working, because they feel a need to continue working to avoid feeling indolent. In addition, sontag explores the dark side of peoples motivations behind photography. She explains, The camera doesnt rape, or even possess, though it may intrude, trespass, distort, exploit, and, at the farthest reach of the metaphor, assassinate- all activities that, unlike the sexual push and shove, can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment. Sontag is saying that even though to take a picture one must have distance, it still inflates hidden desires, ones that are either sexual or violent.
On Excess: Susan, sontag s Born-Digital Archive - los
The title essay is an attack on the mimetic theory of art, and on the cult of interpretation that it has spawned. On the interpretative view, a streetcar Named Desire is about the decline of Western civilisation, rather than "a handsome brute named Stanley kowalski and a faded mangy belle named Blanche dubois". The true task, sontag argues, is not to ask what the work means, but to appreciate what it is; or, as she puts it, "In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art." "On Style" is a spirited attack on the division between. It's clear that she herself is far more interested in "style" than in "content and can't help but invoke the distinction even while debunking. Sontag presentation is a stern critic and there is often a lofty, de haut on bas quality to her judgments Christopher Isherwood is rebuked for a "lazy two-page sketch" defining "camp" and the reader will find plenty to disagree with. But the essays are unfailingly stimulating. And the artists and intellectuals she discusses nietzsche, camus, godard, barthes etc demonstrate that she knew which horses to back. First published in 1966, this celebrated book sontags first collection of essays quickly became a modern classic, and has had an enormous influence in America and abroad on thinking about the arts and contemporary culture. As well as the title essay and the famous Notes on Camp, Against Interpretation includes original and provocative discussions of Sartre, simone weil, godard, beckett, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thinking.
14 demott, benjamin (January 23, 1966). The new York yourself times. Retrieved April 14, 2016. robshaw, Brandon (26 September 2009). "Against Interpretation, by susan Sontag". External links edit retrieved from " ". This classic collection of essays and criticism from the 1960s flatters the reader's intelligence without being intimidating. Sontag has seemingly read everything, from Sophocles to sartre, but has the gift of explaining ideas in reader-friendly prose a gift not shared by all the critics who followed the trail she blazed.
art comfortable and manageable and thus degrading the artists original intention, sontag equally presents a solution to the dilemma she sees as an abundance of interpretation on content. That is, to approach art works with a strong emphasis on form, to reveal the sensuous surface of art without mucking about. 5, reception edit, in a contemporary review of the book, benjamin demott of The new York times praised Against Interpretation as "a vivid bit of living history here and now, and at the end of the sixties it may well rank among the invaluable cultural. Though they bear the stamp of their time, sontag was remarkably prescient; her project of analysing popular culture as well as high culture, the doors as well as Dostoevsky, is now common practice throughout the educated world. And the artists and intellectuals she discusses nietzsche, camus, godard, barthes etc demonstrate that she knew which horses to back." 7 see also edit references edit national book foundation ml.WI9vblyrL8M. Retrieved missing or empty title ( help ) susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 7 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 13 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961. 11 susan Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1961.
The modern style of interpretation is particularly despised by sontag in relation to the previous classical style of interpretation that sought to bring artworks up to date, to meet modern interests and apply allegorical readings. Where this type of interpretation was seen to resolve conflict between past and present year by revamping an art work and maintaining a certain level of respect and honour, sontag believes that the modern style of interpretation has lost sensitivity and rather strives to stroy. Sontag asserts that the modern style is quite harmful; to art and to audiences alike, enforcing hermeneutics - fallacious, complicated readings that seem to engulf an artwork, to the extent that analysis of content begins to degrade, to destroy. Reverting to a more primitive and sensual, almost magical experience of art is what Sontag desires; even though that is quite impossible due to the thickened layers of hermeneutics that surround interpretation of art and that have grown to be recognised and respected. Marxian and, freudian theories, claiming they are aggressive and impious. 3, sontag also refers to the contemporary world as one of overproduction. Material plentitude sic, 4 where one's physical senses have been dulled and annihilated by mass production and complex interpretation to the extent that appreciation of the form of art has been lost. To sontag, modernity means a loss of sensory experience and she believes (in corroboration with her theory of the damaging nature of criticism) that the pleasure of art is diminished by such overload of the senses.
Regarding the pain of Others / Nejlevnější knihy
From wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, jump to navigation, jump to search. Against Interpretation is a collection of essays by, susan Sontag published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style and the eponymous essay "Against Interpretation." In the last, sontag argues that in the new approach to aesthetics the spiritual importance of art is being replaced by the emphasis on the intellect. Rather than recognizing great creative works as possible sources of energy, she argues, contemporary critics were all too often taking art's transcendental power for granted, and focusing instead on their own intellectually constructed abstractions like "form" and "content." In effect, she wrote, interpretation had become. The book was a finalist for the Arts and Letters category of the. National book award 1, contents, summary edit "Against Interpretation" is Sontag's influential essay within. Against Interpretation and Other Essays that discusses the divisions between two different kinds of art criticism and theory: that of formalist interpretation, and that of content-based interpretation. Sontag is strongly averse to what she considers to be contemporary interpretation, that is, an overabundance of importance placed upon the content or meaning of an artwork rather than being keenly alert to the sensuous aspects of a given work and developing a descriptive vocabulary. She believes that interpretation of the modern style has a particular taming effect: reducing the freedom of a subjective response and placing limitations or certain rules upon a responder.