Start reading Regarding the Pain of Others on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Regarding the Pain of Others [Kindle Edition]

Susan Sontag
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $6.11 (41%)
Sold by: Macmillan

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $8.89  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $11.27  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $5.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Unknown Binding --  
Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Book Description

A brilliant, clear-eyed new consideration of the visual representation of violence in our culture--its ubiquity, meanings, and effects

Watching the evening news offers constant evidence of atrocity--a daily commonplace in our "society of spectacle." But are viewers inured -or incited--to violence by the daily depiction of cruelty and horror? Is the viewer's perception of reality eroded by the universal availability of imagery intended to shock?

In her first full-scale investigation of the role of imagery in our culture since her now-classic book On Photography defined the terms of the debate twenty-five years ago, Susan Sontag cuts through circular arguments about how pictures can inspire dissent or foster violence as she takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity--from Goya's The Disasters of War to photographs of the American Civil War, lynchings of blacks in the South, and Dachau and Auschwitz to contemporary horrific images of Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and New York City on September 11, 2001.

As John Berger wrote when On Photography was first published, "All future discussions or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies is now bound to begin with her book." Sontag's new book, a startling reappraisal of the intersection of "information", "news," "art," and politics in the contemporary depiction of war and disaster, will be equally essential. It will forever alter our thinking about the uses and meanings of images in our world.




Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-six years after the publication of her influential collection of essays On Photography (1977), Sontag (In America) reconsiders ideas that are "now fast approaching the status of platitudes," especially the view that our capacity to respond to images of war and atrocity is being dulled by "the relentless diffusion of vulgar and appalling images" in our rapaciously media-driven culture. Sontag opens by describing Virginia Woolf's essay on the roots of war, "Three Guineas," in which Woolf described a set of gruesome photographs of mutilated bodies and buildings destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Woolf wondered if there truly can be a "we" between man and woman in matters of war. Sontag sets out to reopen and enlarge the question. "No `we' should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people's pain," she writes. The "we" that Sontag has come to be much more aware of in the decades since On Photography is the world of the rich. She has come to doubt her youthful contention that repeated exposure to images of suffering necessarily shrivels sympathy, and she doubts even more the radical yet influential spin that others put on this critique-that reality itself has become a spectacle. "To speak of reality becoming a spectacle... universalizes the viewing habits of a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world...." Sontag reminds us that sincerity can turn a mere spectator into a witness, and that it is the heart rather than fancy rhetoric that can lead the mind to understanding.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The impact of violent images: Sontag's first full-length work on imagery since her acclaimed On Photography 25 years ago.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 205 KB
  • Print Length: 145 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374248583
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (October 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F8HJ5JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,853 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Timely April 27, 2003
Format:Hardcover
I couldn�t help but wonder what Susan Sontag would have to say about a friend of mine, and the manner in which he gets his daily news. First thing, each day, when he gets to work, he logs into his computer, surfs to Yahoo, and looks at a slide show of all the top news photos for the day. He never reads any articles. At most he reads a caption or two, but mainly he looks at the pictures. How many others perceive the world through Yahoo slideshows? It�s a bit scary. I think Sontag would agree that many people view the world primarily through the images they receive through the media.
In her revealing book, Regarding The Pain of Others, Susan Sontag examines the many issues associated with the photography of warfare, genocide, and atrocity. She discusses the history of such images, why they are produced, the importance of the viewer�s perspective, censorship, and many other related topics. In presenting her ideas, Sontag moves through a wide variety of history and literature ( Plato�s Republic, the Crimean War, the Khmer Rouge, the Nazi concentration camps, Bosnia). Oddly enough, there are no photos in the book. Many photographs that are referred to are described enough to understand what is being said, but the actual photos would have been a much better addition. (Most of the photos referenced are well known and can easily be located online.) It would have been revealing to know why no photos were included.
Many insights regarding war and photography are put forth. Some seemed like just well explained common sense, others were revealing. As a photographer, one concept that was mentioned, I found very profound. I�ve often wondered why photography hasn�t been replaced by video in the manner in which photography displaced painting.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and Powerful April 1, 2003
Format:Hardcover
As I watch the constant war show on CNN, am I a spectator experiencing war vicariously as entertainment, and if so, should I not be watching? On the other hand, if I choose not to watch am I hiding from reality and turning my back on the soldiers who after all represent me?
If you experience any kind of discomfort with the constant coverage, then Sontag can offer some guidance.
She concentrates mainly on photographs rather than video, but this enables her to draw comparisons between the present and past conflicts. Her elegant potted history of war photography from the Crimean war to today is in some ways a rebuttal to the notion that the ubiquity of media renders modern war substantially different to historical war. If video footage defines our experience of war, photographs become our memories, and this is no less true now than in the 1860's.
If this sounds dry, then I do the book an injustice. First of all, Sontag is able to maintain page-turning readability without sacrificing scholarship. Second, even the most careful reading won't take more than 3 hours. Third, her arguments are forceful and in some cases passionate.
I found "regarding the pain of others" erudite, persuasive and strangely moving.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The politics of suffering May 21, 2003
Format:Hardcover
In this insightful essay, Sontag springboards from an analysis of "Three Guineas" by Virginia Woolf into a discussion about the effects of photography and televised imagery on modern culture and ideas about war and violence. Weaving excerpts from works by Leonardo da Vinci, Plato, Wordsworth, and others, including her own previous work "On Photography", she leads readers on a journey into our own psyches and ways of thinking and viewing the world, and pushes us to examine with conscious knowledge the usage of images. I was especially taken with the idea that it is entirely human to turn away from these pictures of suffering, which are often used as a form of entertainment in the modern world. Sontag rightfully doesn't offer answers or platitudes, but instead indicates a welcoming of our own humanity's foibles as a way to deal with the obligations of conscience and the limits of sympathy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Susan Sontag's Exploration of Pain April 14, 2014
Format:Paperback
How do you cope with violent imagery depicted on the news, in documentaries, and even in fiction? War and violence are pervasive aspects of the culture we live in. In Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, the author explores the impact of visual representations of suffering on the world. This book explores the concept of spectacle as it relates to cruelty and violence. Sontag explores photographs from America's Civil War, the attacks on the World Trade Center, racial hate crimes, and other events throughout history.

One of the most compelling features of this book is the opening, which uses an essay written by Virginia Woolf, "Three Guineas," to introduce the reader to the gruesome nature of war. It poses an intriguing question that will make you want to continue reading. Sontag addresses the topic with sincerity and looks beyond the "emblems of suffering" to address the ethics and psychology behind the photos.

Sontag is well-equipped to write this book, which has been researched thoroughly. She studied at major universities like Oxford and Harvard before writing collections of essays and several novels. One of her previous works, "On Photography," also addresses the impact cameras have had on our lives. Here, the focus on images of violence, hits home for me with several lingering questions: does the publication of violent photos encourage the public to oppose war or take a passive position? Do the images objectify the injured in a way that shapes our opinions of their life's value. It also built on my current interest of how photographs have been used in health, and in particular mental health. I am real fan of Sander Gilman's books, of which Face of Madness felt like a real gem but Seeing the Insane is definitely my favorite.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very insightful
Published 27 days ago by D. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Cheap and fast
Published 1 month ago by Brian S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Author-on-Author
First of all, my condolences...I didn't even know that Susan Sontag died...ten years ago. I know, it sounds lame. But to me she is still alive! I have met her in Paris. Read more
Published 3 months ago by FJNanic
4.0 out of 5 stars Its what I expected and i am very happy with it
The book was delivered in a timely way. Its what I expected and i am very happy with it.
Published 4 months ago by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You!
They were so nice, I wrote a review, I didn't mean for it to be bad. But they were so nice and above my expectations. I just wanted to tell them how nice they were. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jenny Pace
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep reflections on traumatic images
Sontag's little book contains deep reflections on the effects of violent and brutal image on the audience. It raises a lot of critical issues. Read more
Published 8 months ago by dominic yang
5.0 out of 5 stars So thought provoking!
I am on my third reading of this book. Every now and then, I come across a book that I want to have in my back pocket to read in those quiet moments for inspiration--this is one... Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. Schirack
5.0 out of 5 stars i like
It's a excellent product. I like the product anytime, I recomended this because is really what I was expecting to receive.
Published 9 months ago by Elena
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics or aesthetics?
At first sight you would think this book is on politics and on political matters. If you read carefully, you recognize, S. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Erich Mistrik
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative
Susan Sontag asks us to think about (and I would say to be responsible for) what it means to view the pain of other people, particularly in photographs. Read more
Published 12 months ago by C. Medine
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels, a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category