Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
Against Interpretation and Other Essays is a collection of essays by Susan Sontag which was published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style", "Notes on 'Camp'", and the titular essay "Against Interpretation". In the last, Sontag argued that in the new critical approach to aesthetics the spiritual importance of art is being replaced by the emphasis on the intellect. Rather than recognizing great creative works as possible sources of energy, she argued, contemporary critics were all too often taking art's transcendental power for granted, and focusing instead on their own intellectually constructed abstractions like "form" and "content." In effect, she wrote, interpretation had become "the intellect's revenge upon art." The essay famously finished with the words, "in place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art".