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Published Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 1:42 PM EST
Dec 28 2011

Susan Sontag, January 16, 1933 - December 28, 2004

Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.

Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.

Depression is melancholy minus its charms- the animation, the fits.

For a woman, aging is not only her destiny... it is also her vulnerability.

I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.

Interpretation is revenge of the intellect upon art.

It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.

Lying is an elementary means of self-defense.

Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.

Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible.

Perversity is the muse of modern literature.

Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.

Sanity is a cozy lie.

Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.

Societies need to have one illness which becomes identified with evil, and attaches blame to its victims.

The problems of this world are only truly solved in two ways: by extinction or duplication.

The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything. There would only be what is.

The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.

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