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Genres :Non-Fiction , Art
Published By : Picador
Published On : Aug 25, 2001
ISBN : 0312280866 (ISBN13: 9780312280864)
Format :Paperback
Language :English
No. of pages : 312
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    “Today is such a time, when the project of interpretation is largely reactionary, stifling. Like the fumes of the automobile and of heavy industry which befoul the urban atmosphere, the effusion of interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities. In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capability, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.
    Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world - in order to set up a shadow world of 'meanings.' It is to turn the world into this world. ('This world'! As if there were any other.)
    The world, our world, is depleted, impoverished enough. Away with all duplicates of it, until we again experience more immediately what we have. ”
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    “It was from a weekly visit to the cinema that you learned (or tried to learn) how to strut, to smoke, to kiss, to fight, to grieve. Movies gave you tips about how to be attractive (...). But whatever you took home from the movies was only part of the larger experience of losing yourself in faces, in lives that were not yours - which is the more inclusive form of desire embodied in the movie experience. The strongest experience was simply to surrender to, to be transported by, what was on the screen”
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    “The best criticism, and it is uncommon, is of this sort that dissolves considerations of content into those of form.”
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    “The culture-heroes of our liberal bourgeois civilisation are ant-liberal and ant-bourgeois . . .”
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    “Interpretation must itself be
    evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts,
    interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping
    the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly,
    stifling.”

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  • Sontag’s Wildean provocations reached their apogee in her famous 1964 essay, Notes on Camp, also collected here. The debt to Wilde is manifest on almost every page. Remarkably, Sontag holds her own with verve.

    May 16, 2016 Read full review