176 Total Quotes

Susan Sontag Quotes

Susan Sontag
Lying is an elementary means of self-defense.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author #Defense

Susan Sontag
The quality of American life is an insult to the possibilities of human growth. . . the pollution of American space, with gadgetry and cars and TV and box architecture, brutalizes the senses, making gray neurotics of most of us. . .
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Growth

Susan Sontag
Perhaps it is our perennial fate to be surprised by the simultaneity of events, by the sheer extension of the world in time and space. That we are here, prosperous, safe, unlikely to go to bed hungry or be blown to pieces this evening, while elsewhere in the world, right now in Grozny, in Najaf, in the Sudan, in the Congo, in Gaza, in the favelas of Rio....To be a traveler—and novelists are often travelers—is to be constantly reminded of the simultaneity of what is going on in the world, your world and the very different world you have visited and from which you have returned home.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Conscience

Susan Sontag
Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Travel And Tourism #Anxiety

Susan Sontag
AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author #Consequences

Susan Sontag
The standard that a society should actually embody its own professed principles is a utopian one, in the sense that moral principles contradict the way things really are --- and always will be. How things really are --- and always will be --- is neither all-evil nor all-good but deficient, inconsistent, inferior. Principles invite us to do something about the morass of contradictions in which we function morally. Principles invite us to clean up our act; to become intolerant of moral laxity and compromise and cowardice and the turning away from what is upsetting: that secret gnawing of the heart that tells us that what we are doing is not right, and so counsels us that we'd be better off just not thinking about it.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Ethics

Susan Sontag
Fear of sexuality is the new, disease-sponsored register of the universe of fear in which everyone now lives.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Sexuality #Disease

Susan Sontag
Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution. Poignant longings for beauty, for an end to probing below the surface, for a redemption and celebration of the body of the world. Ultimately, having an experience becomes identical with taking a photograph of it.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Image #Pollution

Susan Sontag
It is only the fear of malpractice that keeps doctors candid in this country.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Country

Susan Sontag
Nature in America has always been suspect, on the defensive, cannibalized by progress. In America, every specimen becomes a relic.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Nature #America

Susan Sontag
Cancer patients are lied to, not just because the disease is (or is thought to be) a death sentence, but because it is felt to be obscene -- in the original meaning of that word: ill-omened, abominable, repugnant to the senses.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Cancer

Susan Sontag
Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Mankind

Susan Sontag
The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Writers And Writing #Guilt

Susan Sontag
The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author

Susan Sontag
The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author

Susan Sontag
The ideology of capitalism makes us all into connoisseurs of liberty -- of the indefinite expansion of possibility.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Capitalism

Susan Sontag
Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author #Madness

Susan Sontag
It's fantastic knowing you're going to die; it really makes having priorities and trying to follow them very real to you.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Priorities

Susan Sontag
Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author #Disease

Susan Sontag
The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#American Author

Susan Sontag
Of course the movies are going to be the more visible, more high profile, for the simple reason that a lot more money is involved and this is a largely money-oriented society. ... Nevertheless, this is a very good book town, whether it's known to be that or not, and that's why you have something like this.
Susan Sontag Permalink
#Movie