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Susan Sontag quotes (showing 1-30 of 200)

“Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
Susan Sontag
“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
Susan Sontag
“To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.”
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
Susan Sontag
“To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder - a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.”
Susan Sontag, On Photography
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
Susan Sontag
“Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art. ”
Susan Sontag
“Depression is melancholy minus its charms.”
Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor
“I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.”
Susan Sontag
“Sanity is a cozy lie.”
Susan Sontag
“I discovered that I am tired of being a person. Not just tired of being the person I was, but any person at all”
Susan Sontag
“The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions.


Susan Sontag
“Never worry about being obsessive. I like obsessive people. Obsessive people make great art”
Susan Sontag
“Time exists in order that everything doesn’t happen all at once…and space exists so that it doesn’t all happen to you.”
Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches
“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world."

[Speech upon being awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade), Frankfurt Book Fair, October 12, 2003]”
Susan Sontag
“The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community.”
Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches
“I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them. ”
Susan Sontag
“10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.”
Susan Sontag
“Photographs are a way of imprisoning reality...One can't possess reality, one can possess images--one can't possess the present but one can possess the past.”
Susan Sontag, On Photography
“I want to be able to be alone, to find it nourishing - not just a waiting.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My emotional life: dialectic between craving for privacy and need to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to another.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor
“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”
Susan Sontag, On Photography
“The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own.”
Susan Sontag
“It hurts to love. It's like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don’t redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.”
Susan Sontag
“A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility what human nature is of what happens in the world. It's a creator of inwardness.”
Susan Sontag
“Life is a movie; death is a photograph.”
Susan Sontag
“The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one--or both. Usually both.”
Susan Sontag

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