This essay investigates the truth of human suffering in relation to the images of it acquired by the external observer. From a point of view extraneous to moral discourses, the essay suggests that observing suffering requires construction, an artful description, which in turn constitutes the responsibility of the observer. The paper begins with an analysis of narratives of trauma and victimisation as schemes of communication used by a complex society to account for a world out of control; thereafter, Wittgenstein's argument on the obsolescence of suffering in modernity is introduced to enable the question of a responsibility that does not yet follow a normative model to be specified. The subsequent sections look at Auden's poem and Brueghel's painting mentioned there as artful descriptions par excellence. This essay is plainly not modernist in inspiration, for it questions the very idea of truth, so it is not postmodernist at all.