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《论摄影 苏珊.桑塔格 英文原版 文字精排版》.pdf.pdf


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《论摄影 苏珊.桑塔格 英文原版 文字精排版》.pdf.pdf
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1 On Photography Susan Sontag 2 for Nicole Stephane It all started with one essay--about some of the problems, aesthetic and moral, posed by the omnipresence of photographed images; but the more I thought about what photographs are, the plex and suggestive they became. So one generated another, and that one (to my bemusement) another, and so on--a progress of essays, about the meaning and career of photographs--until I'd gone far enough so that the argument sketched in the first essay, documented and digressed from in the eeding essays, could be recapitulated and extended in a more theoretical way; and could stop. The essays were first published (in a slightly different form) in The New York Review of Books, and probably would neverhave been written were it not for the encouragement given by its editors, my friends Robert Silvers and Barbara Epstein, to my obsession with photography. I am grateful to them, and to my friend Don Eric Levine, for much patient advice and unstinting help. S.S. May 1977 3 CONTENTS In Plato's Cave America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly Melancholy Objects The Heroism of Vision Photographic Evangels The Image-World A Brief Anthology of Quotations 4 In Plato's Cave Π Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plata's cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth. But being educated by photographs is not like being educated by older, more artisanal images. For one thing, there are a great many more images around, claiming our attention. The inventory started in 1839 and since then just about everything has been photographed, or so it seems. This very insatiability of the photographing eye changes the terms of confinement in the cave, our world In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads--as an anthology of images. To collect photographs is to collect the world Movies and television programs light up walls, flicker, and go out; but with still photographs the image is also an object, light-weight, cheap to produce, easy to carry about, accumulate, store. In Godard's Les Carabiniers (1963), two sluggish Iumpen-peasants arc lured into joining the King's Army by the promise that they will be able to loot, rape, kill, or do whatever else they please to the enemy, and get rich. But the suitcase of booty that Michel-Ange and Ulysse triumphantly bring home, years later, to their wives turns out to contain only picture postcards, hundreds of them, of Monuments. Department Stores, Mammals, Wonders of Nature, Methods of Transport, Works of Art, and other classified treasures from around the globe. Godard's gag vividly parodies th
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