Journal Article

Misreading Feuerbach: Susan Sontag, Photography and the Image-World

Sarah Sentilles

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 38-55
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frp055
Misreading Feuerbach: Susan Sontag, Photography and the Image-World

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Attention to Susan Sontag’s (mis)reading of Ludwig Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity reveals her agenda in On Photography: to depart from ‘the new age of unbelief’ and return to ‘something like the primitive status of images’ in which an image participates in the reality of the object depicted. For Sontag, photography has reduced the world to its image, yet it is photography that can get us back to ‘reality’. Sontag’s project is more similar to Feuerbach’s than she allows. Like Feuerbach, Sontag argues that human beings have mistaken the copy for the thing itself and, as a result, have created a false division between the copy and the ‘real,’ devalued both the copy and the thing itself, and overlooked the profound ways images affect the world.

Journal Article.  8300 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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