RE: Susan Sontag

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 12/29/04-09:26:04 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004, Bob Kiss wrote:

> Anyone have any links to any tributes to Sontag that I might read on line?

The New York Times had an excellent obit today (Wednesday) starting on
the first page then nearly a full page in the continued....

As for Sontag's value -- ye gods, read the obit... Or let me put it this
way: I remember the guys on the old history of photography list liked to
sneer at Diane Arbus, probably because (I thought) she dared photograph
men in a transgressive way, or a way that could be interpreted as
transgressive, I saw the photos as empathic.

So how dare a woman be so brilliant in so many different forms. Tho in
fairness, she was probably over the head of a lot of sneering men, who
want , oh, you know, hymns to nature or helpful hints, like How to Talk
About Photography.

As for the European-ness -- whether it's true or not, I don't see that as
an insult. Until about 1950 most advanced intellectual art & thought in
this country had at least its base, or one eye, on Europe. Then, thanks
to Hitler we got a bunch of intellectuals over here who stirred the pot.
For 20 or so years after that, the intellectual energy was here, or so it
seemed to us. And there has surely been much inter-fertilization. Do we
think, when studying photography that Cartier-Bresson was French, or that
Robert Frank, hugely influential photographer of the US was Swiss, or that
he was influenced by a couple of Americans, one of them an emigre, and so
forth and so on?

The signs now are that our cultural and intellectual resources are being
impoverished... not least because they're giving "foreigners" such a hard
time getting here, and not least because of (fill in your favorite

Meanwhile, for what it's worth: I read On Photography several times & each
time marvelled anew... Oh yeah, and Janet Malcolm, they sneer at her as
well. How dare a woman presume to critique men !? What male critic is
EVER put down on these lists ? You want to get me started on Bill Jay?
(Don't, PLEASE !)

No more time to rant now, but consider it said.

Received on Wed Dec 29 21:26:14 2004

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