Susan Sontag

(1933-2004 / New York City, New York)

Susan Sontag Quotes

  • ''What pornography is really about, ultimately, isn't sex but death.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Originally published in Partisan Review (New Brunswick, NJ, Spring 1967). The Pornographic Imagination, sct. 4, Styles of Radical Will (1969).
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  • ''... the place we assign to pornography depends on the goals we set for our own consciousness, our own experience.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. author. "The Pornographic Imagination," (1967).
  • ''Pornography is a theatre of types, never of individuals.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. author. "The Pornographic Imagination," (1967).
  • ''The becoming of man is the history of the exhaustion of his possibilities.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. "'Thinking Against oneself': Reflections on Cioran," Styles of Radical Will (1969).
  • ''Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. "'Thinking Against Oneself': Reflections on Cioran," Styles of Radical Will (1969).
  • ''In good films, there is always a directness that entirely frees us from the itch to interpret.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. repr. In Against Interpretation (1966). "Against Interpretation," sct. 7, Evergreen Review (Dec. 1964).
  • ''I do not think white America is committed to granting equality to the American Negro ... this is a passionately racist country; it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. repr. In Styles of Radical Will (1969). "What's Happening in America (1966)," Partisan Review (New Brunswick, N.J., Winter 1967).
  • ''Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. 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."''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. repr. In Against Interpretation (1966). "Against Interpretation," sect. 4, Evergreen Review (December 1964).
  • ''The writer is either a practising recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. "When Writers Talk Among Themselves," New York Times (Jan. 5, 1986).
  • ''It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.''
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. AIDS and Its Metaphors, ch. 4 (1989).

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