Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/10/01

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Subject: [Leica] RE: meaningless photography and...
From: Guy Bennett <>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 15:24:12 +0100
References: <v04011702b5fbc4629186@[]>

>Oh, again, don't get me wrong, I find her very insightful and
>provocative...I am bothered by having the sense that she has probably never
>even held a camera, and thus in vast areas really doesn't know what the H
>she's talking about...On the other hand, she is constantly challenging my
>assumptions - or givens - and making me rethink things and see them in
>different ways. BUT...the fact that her pompous, pedantic prose are no
>different from any number of academic critics doesn't make them any better
>or any better...:-)
>B. D.


i didn't mean to imply that the fact that her prose style was not unlike
that of other academic critics made her any better or worse than them (or
vice verse), i simply meant that it was par for the course. writers of
those types of books intended for those types of readers tend to write in
that type of style. it's just the done thing. actually, if one reads any
amount of typical academic prose, sontag's writing - in that context -
seems a breath of fresh air...

also, i've got to admit that the fact that sontag writes about photography
without being a photographer herself doesn't bother me in the least. after
all, she's not writing how to books on the craft of photography, but
critical studies on photography as a social activity and as an art form,
and in both of those areas, she is obviously more than qualified to comment
and criticize.

i mean, if only the practitioners of a given activity were allowed to
comment on and criticize the activity in question, there would be very few
comments here on the lug about the quality of sontag's writing... hey, wait
a minute. that might not be such a bad idea! ;)



>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> []On Behalf Of Guy Bennett
>> Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 12:40 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: RE: [Leica] RE: meaningless photography and...
>> >Yes, but what I am referring to is her writing style, not her real or
>> >imagined importance.
>> imo, her style is fairly typical for the genre (critical theory),
>> and is no
>> more pompous than that of the hordes of academic critics working in the
>> same field.
>> where she differs from the pack, i'd say, is in the originality of her
>> insights and in her provocative rhetorical stance; she forces you
>> to take a
>> position (as opposed to most who are content to merely 'prove' that they
>> are right - after all, they've got to teach the unenlightened dullards).
>> for me, this makes her a little more interesting and thought
>> provoking. not
>> unlike barthes, for example.
>> my proverbial .02.
>> guy
>> >> -----Original Message-----
>> >> From:
>> >> []On Behalf Of
>> Guy Bennett
>> >> Sent: Friday, September 29, 2000 1:28 PM
>> >> To:
>> >> Subject: RE: [Leica] RE: meaningless photography and...
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> >Don't want to know! ;-) But then it's no secret that I consider Sontag
>> >> >extremely bright and also extremely insightful - and also
>> >> incredibly pompus
>> >> >and self-important...:-)
>> >> >'
>> >> >B. D.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> in addition to herself, she seems to be important to a great
>> deal of the
>> >> rest of the world.
>> >>
>> >> guy
>> >>

In reply to: Message from Guy Bennett <> (RE: [Leica] RE: meaningless photography and...)