Bryan Applyeard

On Horror

Regarding the Pain of Others

By

Hamish Hamilton 117pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

‘BEING A SPECTATOR of calamities taking place in another country’, writes Susan Sontag, ‘is a quintessential modern experience, the cumulative offering by more than a century and a half3 worth of those professional, speciahsed tourists known as journalists.’

Daily – in fact, hourly – we can find new images of unimaginable suffering in print or on screen. We can turn over or turn away, but they are still there, plucking at our sleeve, demanding that we respond either with indignation or pity. This visual proximity of suffering is unprecedented. So what does it do to us? What is it for?

Sontag lists three possible responses to these images: ‘A call for peace. A cry for revenge. Or simply the bemused awareness, continually restocked by photographic information, that terrible things happen.’ So,

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,