Saturday, March 17, 2007

Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag, a well known essayist currently has one of her last books in print as I learned from the March 12th issue of Newsweek. One of her essay/book "On Photography" is a great read I remember well from History of Photography class in college. I remember her analogy of camera like a gun, and we use terminolgy like "shoot" photographs that remind us of this similiarity. Photographs, reveal the painful truths such as the war photos from the Vietnam and Civil war periods. Like art, photographs can change peoples thoughts and opinions. Sontag explores the effects of photography on social issues.

Reading a bit more into the Newsweek Article P58, written by David Gates a few lines struck me. [ "Let the dedicated activist never overshadow the dedicated servant of literature-the matchless storyteller." Sontag distinguishes between information and story. "stories seek completeness, closure," while information is "always by definition., partial, incomplete, fragmentary ..." Literature tells stories, Television gives us information. " ]

Storytelling is an art, often delightful. News, on the otherhand, is media-filtered and skewed. The feeling you're left with after watching endless hours of television or reading news is often less satisfying than reading 15 minutes of a good novel.

I'm including a smaller painting in this post titled "Little Cholita". This little girl posed perfectly for this picture. I handed her several soles in exchange, and her smile was memorable. Many of the other tourists were eager to take a picture of her, but didn't tip her.