Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sontag and Tsunami

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by Rebecca Solnit,
January 4th, 2005

It may be strange to weigh two recent incidents – Susan Sontag's death and the Asian tsunamis – against each other. But Sontag's comments allow us to examine the terms in which news and images are delivered to us. The news of Susan Sontag's death arrived as a single sentence spoken in the opening moments of a radio news program Tuesday morning, and then the program returned to what had been the main story since the day after Christmas: the tsunami and the death toll, then in the tens of thousands, that would continue to rise. It was strange to weigh these two incidents of mortality against each other. Though for some people it would be considered insensitive or irreverent even to do so, one of the things to be appreciated about Sontag, I think, is that she considered everything a proper occasion for more thinking, more analyzing, more writing . . .


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