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Advice
Engrave this Quote Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote With the modern diseases (once TB, now cancer) the romantic idea that the disease expresses the character is invariably extended to assert that the character causes the disease -- because it has not expressed itself. Passion moves inward, striking and blighting the deepest cellular recesses.
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-Susan Sontag
AIDS
Engrave this Quote AIDS occupies such a large part in our awareness because of what it has been taken to represent. It seems the very model of all the catastrophes privileged populations feel await them.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder.
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-Susan Sontag
Ambition
Engrave this Quote Ambition if it feeds at all, does so on the ambition of others.
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-Susan Sontag
America
Engrave this Quote American energy is the energy of violence, of free-floating resentment and anxiety unleashed by chronic cultural dislocations which must be, for the most part, ferociously sublimated. This energy has mainly been sublimated into crude materialism and acquisitiveness. Into hectic philanthropy. Into benighted moral crusades, the most spectacular of which was Prohibition. Into an awesome talent for uglifying countryside and cities. Into the loquacity and torment of a minority of gadflies: artists, prophets, muckrakers, cranks, and nuts. And into self-punishing neuroses. But the naked violence keeps breaking through, throwing everything into question.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote 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, and perverse spiritual athletes and strident self-transcenders of the best of us.
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-Susan Sontag
Art
Engrave this Quote Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible. By getting us used to what, formerly, we could not bear to see or hear, because it was too shocking, painful, or embarrassing, art changes morals.
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-Susan Sontag
Authors & Writing
Engrave this Quote The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote The best emotions to write out of are anger and fear or dread. The least energizing emotion to write out of is admiration. It is very difficult to write out of because the basic feeling that goes with admiration is a passive contemplative mood.
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-Susan Sontag
Beauty
Engrave this Quote What is most beautiful in virile men is sometimes feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.
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-Susan Sontag
Books
Engrave this Quote Perversity is the muse of modern literature.
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-Susan Sontag
Boredom
Engrave this Quote Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.
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-Susan Sontag
Cancer
Engrave this Quote 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.
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-Susan Sontag
Capitalism
Engrave this Quote The ideology of capitalism makes us all into connoisseurs of liberty -- of the indefinite expansion of possibility.
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-Susan Sontag
Change
Engrave this Quote Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.
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-Susan Sontag
Conservation
Engrave this Quote Guns have metamorphosed into cameras in this earnest comedy, the ecology safari, because nature has ceased to be what it always had been -- what people needed protection from. Now nature tamed, endangered, mortal -- needs to be protected from people.
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-Susan Sontag
Criticism
Engrave this Quote The aim of all commentary on art now should be to make works of art -- and, by analogy, our own experience -- more, rather than less, real to us. The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote Any critic is entitled to wrong judgments, of course. But certain lapses of judgment indicate the radical failure of an entire sensibility.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art. Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world -- in order to set up a shadow world of meanings.
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-Susan Sontag
Death
Engrave this Quote For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obscene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
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-Susan Sontag
Engrave this Quote A fiction about soft or easy deaths is part of the mythology of most diseases that are not considered shameful or demeaning.
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-Susan Sontag
Depression
Engrave this Quote Depression is melancholy minus its charms -- the animation, the fits.
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-Susan Sontag
Exaggeration
Engrave this Quote Camp is a vision of the world in terms of style -- but a particular kind of style. It is love of the exaggerated.
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-Susan Sontag

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