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The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. März 2012

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"The Cruel Radiance is a beautifully considered and unabashedly impassioned plea for the continuing moral relevance of photojournalism." (Jed Perl, New Republic)"

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Susie Linfield has been an editor for American Film, the Village Voice, and the Washington Post and has written for a wide range of publications, including the Los Angeles Times Book Review, New York Times, Bookforum, Village Voice, and the Nation. She is associate professor of journalism at New York University, where she directs the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 7 Rezensionen
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Photos missing from the Kindle Edition 5. Juli 2012
Von Jason N. Weddington - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I purchased the Kindle Edition, and was disappointed to find nearly all the photos missing. Instead there was only the text [To view this image, refer to the print version of this title.] Under this text was the caption for the original image. This is not an acceptable ebook experience. How can a book about photojournalism be missing all the photos?

I can't comment on the quality of the book itself, because I immediately returned the Kindle Edition for a refund.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Daring to look 3. Juni 2011
Von Marcos Lopes - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Linfield's book is well done account of photographs which represent things that, usually, we don't want to look at. The author brings into discussion the very ethics of looking, gazing and staring, criticizing opinions that affirm that to look at the pain of others is participate in the intentions of perpetrators of politic crimes, specially against human rights. The principal targets of her critics are Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Alan Sekula and John Berger, as well as Benjamin and Krakauer. For Linfield, this authors are not essentially wrong, but we should place their writings in perspective and not make gospels of them. In reading this interesting book, we come to know that "to look or not to look" is not merely a question of transcendental ethics, but a political act regarding the suffering of human people. Linfield not only invites us to be daring to look at the pain of others, but also to look into it, its testimonies, its visual existence, and try to make of the gaze a means of amelioration of our chaotic world.
14 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
the evil "postmoderns" 2. März 2013
Von semper fidelis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Frances Richard's review of The Cruel Radiance in The Nation is very good, but is more generous than I am able to muster after having read the book, especially "A Little History of Photography Criticism" and related areas throughout the book where Linfield attempts to write on historical and critical topics. She is simply not up to the task. She tries to critique Susan Sontag but effectively ignores her main book on the topic, Regarding the Pain of Others, and critiques Bertolt Brecht but effectively ignores his photographic book, Kriegsfibel (translated as War Primer). She rails on these and other "haters of photography" by cherry picking quotes, ignoring wildly different historical and discursive contexts, and trying to mask the fact that she has not done her homework with "passionate argument". For a book on representation, her representations of other writers are cartoonish; if the same standard were held for photographs she would be talking about the suffering of stick figures. Her varied oppositions between thinking and feeling begs the age old question of whether people can walk and chew gum at the same time. It will probably surprise many people that John Berger is counted among the photography haters and is, moreover, "postmodern" and that clashing art world denizens like Richard Prince against atrocity photos is supposed to produce valuable insight. I find it disheartening that a reputable enterprise like University of Chicago Press would let such sloppy work through.
6 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A painful but GREATLY needed book! 1. Februar 2011
Von Peter Kobs - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
What happens to the victims of genocide, torture and mass murder? Do they just disappear from memory over time or do we have a responsibility to confront their suffering? Is it "pornographic" to display photos of political violence or is it our duty to see them?

If you're in the second group, as I am, this heart-wrenching new book by photography critic Susie Linfield is a MUST read.

WARNING: The subject matter (text and photos) is deeply disturbing and not appropriate for sensitive minds or young people (under age 16).

Almost since the invention of the camera in the early 19th century, photography has been used to capture both the beautiful "nice stuff" and the ugly horrifying stuff. Photos from the American Civil War and the brutal Belgian occupation of the Congo are prime examples. In the 20th century, photos were used both by activists and perpetrators to document the very worst cases of human cruelty -- from the slaughterhouse of Ardennes in World War I to the gas chambers of Auschwitz and the execution rooms of Stalin's Russia. Sadly, this body of evidence keeps growing in our time.

As the book so aptly explains, many art critics of the post-War period (e.g., Susan Sontag) have denounced these photos calling them another form of "victimization" or even "the pornography of mass violence." We shouldn't look at those images, they say, it only makes their suffering worse.

Linfield deftly and completely demolishes that argument, both from an aesthetic standpoint and in terms of basic human morality. She uses real-world examples to demonstrate the vital role that documentary photography has played in exposing political violence over the last 150 years. Moreover, she does so while teaching us about the often difficult intersection of photography, art, journalism, history and human rights activism. Even Mark Twain makes an appearance.

I am not an art critic but I am an historian of sorts. The first chapter -- a discussion of the squabbles among specific art critics -- didn't appeal to me personally. I'd suggest reading the preface and then skipping directly to chapter 2 or 3 where the deeper narrative begins.

As I said in a letter to Linfield after reading her book: "The real value of these photographs is indeed their shock value. This is the world we live in, folks -- let's stop pretending otherwise."

BOTTOM LINE: We have a responsibility to our fellow human beings, especially vulnerable children and other victims of mass violence. The first step is to look that horror directly in the eye and say: "Never again. Never again."

Thank you, Susie Linfield, for writing this amazing work of non-fiction.
AMAZING 6. Oktober 2014
Von elin o'Hara slavick - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Amazing! While arguing against my cultural heroes - John Berger, Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag - Linfield manages to respect their genius while reinstilling belief and hope into the photographic practice of documenting this world - in all its beauty and horror. A great and painful read, post-Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others. I plan to use this book in my Conceptual Photography Seminar at UNC, Chapel Hill.
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