Bookmarked Susan Sontag: At the Same Time (review) (Radio National)

"To tell a story is to say: this is the important story. It is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path.

To be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention.

When we make moral judgments, we are not just saying that this is better than that. Even more fundamentally, we are saying that this is more important than that. It is to order the overwhelming spread and simultaneity of everything, at the price of ignoring or turning our backs on most of what is happening in the world.

The nature of moral judgments depends on our capacity for paying attention β€” a capacity that, inevitably, has its limits but whose limits can be stretched.

But perhaps the beginning of wisdom, and humility, is to acknowledge, and bow one’s head, before the thought, the devastating thought, of the simultaneity of everything, and the incapacity of our moral understanding β€” which is also the understanding of the novelist β€” to take this in."

In an extract from At the Same Time, Susan Sontag discusses storytelling and the art of leaving things out. I wonder if the same could be said of music? For example, in a documentary reflecting on U2’s album The Joshua Tree, Brian Eno demonstrates through the mixing board how they would could have mimicked Depeche Mode. Or maybe music too is simply a form of storytelling?

via Brainpickings