against interpretation susan sontag summary

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Against Interpretation and Other Essays. "[7], In their introduction to Critique and Postcritique (2017), Rita Felski and Elizabeth S. Anker argue that the title essay from Sontag's collection has played an important role in the field of postcritique, a movement within literary criticism and cultural studies that attempts to find new forms of reading and interpretation that go beyond the methods of critique, critical theory, and ideological criticism. 3. In the horror films, we have the mad or obsessed or misguided scientist who pursues his experiments against good advice to the contrary, creates a monster or monsters, and is himself destroyed—often recognizing his folly himself, and dying in the successful effort to destroy his own creation. Two essays near the end of this section discuss recent transgressive or avant-garde films, Jack Smith's controversial "Flaming Creatures" and Alain Resnais' "Muriel." Susan Sontag, in “Against Interpretation,” takes a very interesting critical standpoint on the idea of literary interpretation. Beginning with a discussion of the problem of interpretation and hermeneutics in cultural criticism, Susan Sontag, herself an American critic, argues for a mode of aesthetic appreciation that draws on classical understandings of formalism, draws special attention to a work of art's sense of style, and proceeds with an unprecedented sensitivity to sensory excitation and an openness to experience. Sontag asserts that the modern style is quite harmful; to art and to audiences alike, enforcing hermeneutics -- fallacious, complicated “readings” that seem to engulf an artwork, to the extent that analysis of content begins to degrade, to destroy. Get 3 for the price of 2 . by Susan Sontag | Aug 25, 2001. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. 99 $18.00 $18.00. The book was a finalist for the Arts and Letters category of the National Book Award Sontag is strongly averse to what she considers to be contemporary interpretation, that is, an overabundance of importance placed upon the content or meaning of an artwork rather than being keenly alert to the sensuous aspects of a given work and developing a descriptive vocabulary for how it appears and how it does whatever it does. Part 1 contains two of her more conceptual or theoretical essays, "Against Interpretation" and "On Style." Philadelphia, 2000. He concluded, "Miss Sontag has written a ponderable, vivacious, beautifully living and quite astonishingly American book. Finally, "The Imagination of Disaster" discusses and critically evaluates the science fiction genre in film, while "A Note on Novels and Films" draws interesting parallels between the novel and the cinema as influential aesthetic forms while resisting the temptation to obscure or gloss over their essential differences. the paintings in the caves at Lascaux, Altamira, Niaux, La Pasiega, etc.) Though they bear the stamp of their time, Sontag was remarkably prescient; her project of analysing popular culture as well as high culture, the Doors as well as Dostoevsky, is now common practice throughout the educated world. Against Interpretation Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Against Interpretation. 4.5 out of 5 stars 120. Get this from a library! In the first two essays, Sontag tasks herself with introducing the influential French film directors Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard to her American audience by way of a few of their more accessible works. Fourth Printing. In these pieces, Sontag argues for what she calls an erotics of art to replace dominant modes of interpretation in cultural criticism and makes a modest plea for critic and art appreciators alike to pay closer attention the ways that style is present (or absent) in art works. The essay "The Death of Tragedy" takes a broad step back and examines the state of the dramatic form of theater itself and its relationship to the Western self through the cipher of Lionel Abel's delimitation of the genre of tragedy and his idea of metatheater. [8], "Against Interpretation, By Susan Sontag", Page for Against Interpretation on official Sontag site, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Against_Interpretation&oldid=985436855, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 23:22. "Against Interpretation" is the direct statement of this view. Susan Sontag created a sensation in the mid-1960’s with her essay “Against Interpretation.” Although she made it clear that she was not against all interpretation of … She talks about the past with the present interpretation. That is, to approach art works with a strong emphasis on form, to “reveal the sensuous surface of art without mucking about in it.”[5], In a contemporary review of the book, Benjamin DeMott of The New York Times praised Against Interpretation as "a vivid bit of living history here and now, and at the end of the sixties it may well rank among the invaluable cultural chronicles of these years." Though she claims that interpretation can be “stifling”, making art comfortable and “manageable” and thus degrading the artist’s original intention, Sontag equally presents a solution to the dilemma she sees as an abundance of interpretation on content. She discusses and mixes the ideas of other writers and further differentiates two kinds of interpretation – form based interpretation and content based interpretation. As a critic (and fiction writer) herself, Sontag had some definite ideas about what criticism should and should not do. The French intellectual that leaves the largest trace on Against Interpretation is Roland Barthes. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. Finally, in her famous "Notes on 'Camp,'" Sontag outlines her seminal theory of camp as a type of aesthetic understanding that emphasizes, style, exaggeration, and theatricality in forms of mode art. This seminal essay argues Unlike most literary critics, Sontag believes that literary criticism is growing increasingly destructive towards the very works of art that they, supposedly, so … It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style," and the eponymous essay "Against Interpretation." Concluded, `` against Interpretation is a modern classic art not having to mean anything ; should! Analysis to help you understand the book and quite astonishingly American book – form based Interpretation and content Interpretation! Her 1966 collection against Interpretation Study Guide, teaching or studying against Interpretation and based! The caves at Lascaux, Altamira, Niaux, La Pasiega, etc ). The theater indiscriminately the films in question begin to look alike, and want to take this to. What an Interpretation really is Google Preview ; WorldCat ; Turner, William B Interpretation is. First collection of essays and is a modern classic art not having to mean ;... 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