Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Susan Sontag (1933-2004)



Susan Sontag died at 71 (News: 1, 2). Thinking about her reminded me of myself at age 19, writing down the Persian translation of In Plato's Cave narrated to me and a few others by Bahman Jalali in the Iranian School of Radio and Television. In those years (mid 1980s) there was no book published on the theory of photography in Iran, neither there was any photography magazine. I had not read anything like that before. Reading that essay while I was writing it was a shocking experience.
It was winter. I used to go to Jalali's classes in Thursday afternoons. We wrote down that essay and two others ("Melancholy Objects" and "America, Seen Through the Glass Darkly") in two or three weeks. Those winter afternoons were a turning point in my life. Sontag's essays changed the meaning of images for me forever. Maybe the same way the pictures of Auschwitz changed every thing for her.
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* For reading Sontag's last article in New York Times magazine click here.
* Read "Looking at War" in "The New Yorker" here.
* Also listen to Remembering Susan Sontag at Radio Nation.
* Quicksilver by John Berger.

The Photograph by Peter Hujar.

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