Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 To remember is, more and more, not to recall a story but to be able to call up a picture. 
 Though photographs, the world becomes a series of unrelated, free-standing particles; and history, past and present, a set of anecdotes and faits divers. The camera makes reality atomic, manageable, and opaque. It is a view of the world which denies interconnectedness, continuity, but which confers on each moment the character of a mystery. 
 The disconcerting ease with which photographs can be taken, the inevitable even when inadvertent authority of the results, suggest a very tenuous relation to knowing. 
 By furnishing this already crowded world with a duplicate one of images, photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is. 
 No sophisticated sense of what photography is or can be will ever weaken the satisfactions of a picture of an unexpected event seized in mid-action by an alert photographer. 
 The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own. 
 All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. 
 Surrealism lies at the heart of the photographic enterprise: in the very creation of a reality in the second degree, narrower but more dramatic than the one perceived by natural vision. 
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