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. 
 The Western memory museum is now mostly a visual one. 
 The vast maw of modernity has chewed up reality and spat the whole mess out as images. 
 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. 
 When one has a picture taken, the photographer says “Perfect!” Just as you are! That is death. 
 To collect photography is to collect the world. 
 Life is not significant details, illuminated by a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are. 
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