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“In an overpopulated world being connected by global electronic communication and jet travel at a pace too rapid and violent for an organically sound person to assimilate without shock, people are also suffering from a revulsion at any further proliferation of speech and images. Such different factors as the unlimited ‘technological reproduction’ and near-universal diffusion of both printed language and speech as well as images (from ‘news’ to ‘art objects’), and the degenerations of public language within the realms of politics and advertising and entertainment, have produced, especially among the better educated inhabitants of what sociologists call ‘modern mass society,’ a devaluation of language. (I should argue, contrary to McLuhan, that a devaluation of the power and credibility of images has taken place that’s no less profound than, and essentially similar to, that afflicting language.) And, as the prestige of language falls, that of silence rises.” – Susan Sontag, “The Aesthetics of Silence”

Published inLit & CritSusan Sontag

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