On Photography – Susan Sontag

1st July – 4th July 2013

Twice I’ve started to read this book and twice I’ve failed to finish it.  Twice I’ve started to listen to the audio version of the book and on this second attempt I’ve decided to review each of the six essays individually in the hope that I’ll get through them all and at last have a full review of what is supposed to be a very seminal work on the subject of photography.  I have to be honest and say that during the first attempt at the audio book I fell asleep during the second essay, which remains in my mind, at this moment of just having finished the first essay for the second time, as being entirely about Diane Arbus, but funnily enough I remember more about that second essay than the first through which I was awake the entire time!

To say I found it a difficult book is an understatement, not the language, that’s quite straightforward, it’s the way that Sontag wanders all over the place seemingly to make her point more valid, but in fact making it more obscure if you’re not used to such prose.  I’m glad I stuck with it and reviewed it step by step because at the end of it all I’ve come away with a deep appreciation of the arguments she makes and certainly a better understanding of the role and position of photography in art.


5 Responses to On Photography – Susan Sontag

  1. Catherine says:

    I guess you breathed a sigh of relief to get through it all and make sense of it for yourself. Quite an achievement I think, given what other students have said.

    • Eddy Lerp says:

      I did feel like giving up on more than one occasion, it aint an easy book, for me anyway, but yes a great sense of achievement and I also learned such a lot as a result.

  2. watlvry says:

    I sympathise having gone the same route. Every sentance is profound. I might try a seachable ebook next.
    Before our last meet I thought Berger was also profound but Vicki changed my mind. Now I have to re-visit him with a critical point of view.
    It is starting to feel academic. Hard.

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