4 PARAGRAPH JOURNAL Ethics of Remembering


Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others Excerpt

Susan Sontag is an author of four novels, a collection of stories, several plays, and many
works of nonfiction. She has received the National Book Award for Fiction, the National
Book Critics Circle Award for criticism and the Jerusalem Prize for her body of work. She
also received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the
German Book Trade.

“Remembering is an ethical act, has ethical value in and of itself. Memory is, achingly,

the only relation we can have with the dead. So the belief that remembering is an

ethical act is deep in our natures as humans, who know we are going to die, and who

mourn those who in the normal course of things die before us—grandparents, parents,

teachers, and older friends. Heartlessness and amnesia seem to go together” (Sontag,

2003, 115).


Sontag, S. (2003). Regarding the pain of others. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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