Orientation and reflection:

a research on susan Sontag’s New Sensibility


  • Xingjun Chen School of Foreign Languages, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu, 610101, China


Susan Sontag, New sensibility, The demise of art, Camp, the visual arts


This paper uses the research method of historical context to place Sontag’s “New Sensibility” in the historical context in which “the demise of art” was prevalent, and puts forward that Sontag’s “New Sensibility” is the sensibility in line with the needs of that time by denying “the demise of art” and affirming the dominant position of visual art. Its definition can be summarized as an ability of aesthetic perception of arts. It appeals to pure sensibility to appreciate visual arts, and devotes to changing modern people’s consciousness and sensibility. At the same time, by comparing “New Sensibility” with “Camp Sensibility”, proposed by Sontag, and “new sensibility”, proposed by Marcuse, this paper points out that the main connotation of “New Sensibility” is to emphasize form,
neglect content and suspend morality. However, “New Sensibility”, which overemphasizes perceptual experience and ignores moral dimension, has its inherent defects, which cannot be ignored. Therefore, this paper finally takes Sontag’s critical practice of Riefenstahl as an example to specifically explain the defects of “New Sensibility” and reflect on it. More than half a century after Sontag’s “New Criticism”, the orientation and reflection of it is conducive to re-facing the significance and value of it under the background of further development of science and technology and more diversified artistic styles at contemporary era.


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Received: 31/05/2022 - Accept: 09/08/2022


09-01-2023 — Atualizado em 18-01-2023

Como Citar

Chen, X. (2023). Orientation and reflection:: a research on susan Sontag’s New Sensibility. TRANS/FORM/AÇÃO: Revista De Filosofia Da Unesp, 46(01), 251–268. Recuperado de https://revistas.marilia.unesp.br/index.php/transformacao/article/view/13298



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