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

 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. 
 Life is not significant details, illuminated by a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are. 
 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. 
 To remember is, more and more, not to recall a story but to be able to call up a picture. 
 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. 
 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. 
 A photograph is supposed not to evoke but to show. That is why photographs, unlike handmade images, can count as evidence. But evidence of what? 
 The vast maw of modernity has chewed up reality and spat the whole mess out as images. 
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