Regarding the Pain of Others (Picador Modern Classics) (Hardcover)
Beautifully repackaged as part of the Picador Modern Classics Series, this special edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and bold enough to stand out on your bookshelf.
Considered one of the greatest critics of her generation, Susan Sontag followed up her monumental On Photography with an extended study of human violence, reflecting on a question first posed by Virginia Woolf in Three Guineas: How in your opinion are we to prevent war?
"For a long time some people believed that if the horror could be made vivid enough, most people would finally take in the outrageousness, the insanity of war."
One of the distinguishing features of modern life is that it supplies countless opportunities for regarding (at a distance, through the medium of photography) horrors taking place throughout the world. But are viewers inured—or incited—to violence by the depiction of cruelty? Is the viewer’s perception of reality eroded by the daily barrage of such images? What does it mean to care about the sufferings of others far away?
First published more than twenty years after her now classic book On Photography, which changed how we understand the very condition of being modern, Regarding the Pain of Others challenges our thinking not only about the uses and means of images, but about how war itself is waged (and understood) in our time, the limits of sympathy, and the obligations of conscience.
About the Author
Susan Sontag was the author of four novels, including The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for fiction; a collection of stories, I, etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed; and nine works of essays, among then On Photography, which won the National Books Critics Circle Award for criticism. In 2001, Sontag was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work. She died in New York City in 2004.
“Wise and somber. . .Sontag's closing words acknowledge that there are realities which no picture can convey.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
"These literary gems are the perfect stocking-stuffer size for the serious reader on your list; you’ll look smart wrapping up one or all of them." --USA Today
“The history of sensibility in a culture shaped by the mechanical reproduction of imagery....has always been one of the guiding preoccupations of her best work, from Against Interpretation to The Volcano Lover....Regarding the Pain of Others invites, and rewards, more than one reading.” —Newsday
“For 30 years, Susan Sontag has been challenging an entire generation to think about the things that frighten us most: war, disease, death. Her books illuminate without simplifying, complicate without obfuscating, and insist above all that to ignore what threatens us is both irresponsible and dangerous.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A timely meditation on politics and ethics. . .extraordinary . . .Sontag's insight and erudition are profound.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Regarding the Pain of Others bristles with a sense of commitment--to seeing the world as it is, to worrying about the ways it is represented, even to making some gesture in the direction of changing it. . .the performance is thrilling to witness.” —The New York Times Magazine
“A fiercely challenging book. . .immensely thought-provoking.” —The Christian Science Monitor
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