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On Photography, Susan Sontag (1977)

Prescience, personified.

Alice Gregory
September 17, 2013

Susan Sontag is prescience personified. Her writings on everything from AIDS to anthropology to psychoanalysis to camp aesthetics can be read today with barely a hint of anachronism. But On Photography perseveres as the most prophetic of the bunch. “Today everything exists to end in a photograph,” she writes in “In Plato’s Cave.” Our era is synonymous with digital self-expression, and Sontag’s 1977 essay collection is a good reminder of the attendant dangers of allowing visual documentation to retroactively define experience.

Alice Gregory is a writer living in Brooklyn.

Alice Gregory is a writer living in Brooklyn.

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