Monday, January 03, 2005

And Now For A Few Words From Susan Sontag

Among a set of excerpts from her writings that ran in Sunday's New York Times, the latter struck me. Maybe I'll put it among my quotes at the left:

"Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life -- its material plentitude, its sheer crowdedness -- conjoin to dull our sensory faculties ... What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more."

It's striking to me that she wrote this in 1964, before Star Wars ushered in the era of slam-bang, never-stop-to-take-a-breath cinema, which I tend to blame for a good bit of our sensory overload in the arts (I take this from Pauline Kael, I know).