Regarding The Pain Of Others

4 Aug

Cover of Regarding the pain of others by Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag on the imagery of war

A new book from the woman who, twenty five years ago set the agenda for the meaning behind images. Susan Sontag explores the imagery and meaning of photgraphing war and tragedy. She approaches the subject from the historical and contemporary angles right up to the events of September 11th. RQ reviews this compelling book.

audio transcript

Susan Sontag ‘Regarding the pain of others’ (Hamish Hamilton / Farrar, Straus and Giroux) While the painful, yet remarkable images of September 11th are still imprinted in our minds, Susan Sontag has written a timely and impressive reflection on the imagery of war and suffering. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, she leads us through her original thoughts concerning the visual records, photographs and art of the way we see the pain of others. Mostly about war, the book also touches on broader issues whilst remaining focused. There are few grains of comfort here and don’t expect an easy bedtime read. Persevere with the first dozen pages, though, and you’ll find that your efforts will be well rewarded. A stimulating and surprisingly unmorbid read.

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