Regarding The Pain of Others – Susan Sontag
Susan Sontag is well known for her writings on photography. While her book On Photography (1977) was, to me, beyond esoteric, Regarding The Pain of Others (2003) is far more readable not only to photographers and journalists but to all – all that is who have an interest in news and the way in which it is disseminated and in particular how images are used in the process. Not surprisingly, it’s littered with snippets of quotable gold. This was one of many underlined paragraphs in my copy:
“The whole point of television is that one can switch channels, that it is normal to switch channels, to become restless, bored. Consumers droop. They need to be stimulated, jump-started, again and again. Content is no more than one of these stimulants. A more reflective engagement with content would require a certain intensity of awareness – just what is weakened by the expectation brought to images disseminated by the media, whose leaching out of content contributes most to the deadening of feeling”.
I couldn’t put this book down and I’ll always keep it within close reach. It’s also a book that intrigues me as to how Sontag saw the context of the work of her famous lover, Annie Leibovitz…