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As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980
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As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (Journals of Susan Sontag #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  622 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
This, the second of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, begins where the first volume left off, in the middle of the 1960s. It traces and documents Sontag's evolution from fledgling participant in the artistic and intellectual world of New York City to world-renowned critic and dominant force in the world of ideas with the publication of the groundbreak ...more
523 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2012)
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Apr 27, 2015 Jonfaith rated it liked it
Decline of the letter, the rise of the notebook! One doesn't write to others any more, one writes to oneself.

So we have 500 pages of such musings, a mixed and often undercooked lot. Through the process, a human portrait is revealed: vain, slothful, codependent. Finishing this last night, I pondered whether Sontag would've approved of her son editing and publishing these writings to herself. The amount of personal information I publish here weekly in the course of reviews and comments made that c
Jun 29, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing
One doesn't learn from experience - because the substance of things is always changing. (pg. 83)

The only transformation that interests me is a total transformation - however minute. I want the encounter with a person or a work of art to change everything. (pg. 83)

For a year (age 13) carried the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius always with me in my pocket. I was so afraid of dying - + only that book gave me some consolation, some fortitude. I wanted to have it on me, to be able to touch it, at th
Sep 25, 2012 Parastoo rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
خیلی آهسته و با چند وقفهٔ طولانی خواندمش. بعضی از یادداشتهایش برایم نامفهوم بود و بعضی دیگر آنقدر دلچسب که باعث میشد دو بار بخوانم. در مجموع خوش گذشت. ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Vicky rated it liked it
Shelves: journals
I love all the tortured parts—Sontag's relationship insecurities with other women and her feelings of not writing enough—which is the best thing about this book. I don't care for her son's terrible bracket edits (ugh), nor reading her fragments for pages and pages, though yeah I know this is a notebook. I kept thinking about Nin while reading Sontag, one so emotional and sensual in the prose, the other so intellectual and tense. This took me a long time to finish because I had so many parts to c ...more
James Murphy
May 09, 2012 James Murphy rated it liked it
Susan Sontag was a thinker. To read her journals is to have the impression she was only that, lacking a side as woman, lover, mother, or friend. But she was all of those things, as she knew. Her journals seem to be attempts to weld the two sides of herself into one person, to harness her enormous intellect and interests to the flesh of the woman she was. She says she's not saying things in absolute terms. She claims to be allowing something to be said, something independent of herself. I'm not s ...more
Heather Fowler
Aug 28, 2012 Heather Fowler rated it really liked it
What I love about this book is that it is an accumulation of journals and, as such, has the sort of urgency and private feel to it that almost represents voyeurism. Between lists of Sontag's readings and cinema rankings, ideal short fiction collection ideas, glimpses at her analysis of how some of her work was experienced, and general thoughts about intellectualism/intellectuals of her acquaintances, there was also this extreme analysis of self and identity. In tiny parcels. I loved the parts ab ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
If weird and bizarre Orientalist aphorisms are dealbreakers for you (and they are for me. We all have our Things) then it would be best to skip 1968 and parts of 1972-73. There's also some REALLY UNFORTUNATE RACIST/ABLEIST TERMS used at around p.345, so maybe skip that too. Maybe you're wondering why I even bothered giving this any stars at all? It's because it's a diary, and because there are a lot of moments where Sontag really exquisitely lays bear this deep pain and melancholy. I disagree wi ...more
Aric Cushing
A book of amazing ideas, but not a cover to cover read. For researchers of Sontag, this would be a great reference. Unlike Anais Nin's journals, this journal is a collection of disparate ideas and contemplations.
أحمد شاكر
May 03, 2016 أحمد شاكر rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: يوميات
ربما أنا شخص فضولي. أو متطفل، لذا أحب قراءة اليوميات. قراءة اليوميات لكاتب، بالضبط، كأنك تتلصص على دماغه، أفكاره. معرفة ما يحب وما يكره. مشاعره وميوله. ما يعجبه وما لا يعجبه. الكتب التي قرأها. والتي يفكر في قراءتها. مشاريعه التي يخطط لها. ما شاهد من أفلام ومسرحيات. عملية تنقيب واسعة في الذات. هي حكاية تبدو غير مترابطة، لكنه العكس. وهي أيضا دعوة مفتوحة لكتابة اليوميات..
Marwa Eletriby
الحقيقة أن الجزء الاول " ولادة ثانية " كان ممتع أكتر
بغض النظر أن ده أطول
طبعًا أنا لا ألوم كاتب علي كتابة شخصية كتبت بغير نية النشر
بالطبع الكتابة ذاتيه وفي نفس الوقت
مملوءة بتفاصيل
يمكن الجزء الأول كان به تفاصيل عن سوزان أكتر
حكاوي أكثر عنها
في نفس الوقت كابات ثرية بأفلام - كتب -
تعكس بشكل ما سوزان لكني أحببت الجزء
الأول أكثر
Apr 28, 2016 Ярослава rated it really liked it
У цьому томі Зонтаґ вже доросліша і тому значно менш соліпсична, не без болісних заносів штибу "My habit of trading 'information' for human warmth. Like putting a shilling in a meter; lasts for five minutes, then have to put another shilling in. Hence, my ancient wish to be mute - because I know what most of my speech is for, and I'm humiliated by that" - але вже й готова бачити у навколишніх не лише джерело валідації чи ворожу силу, а й людей зі своїми складнощами і тарганами, штибу "доки вона ...more
Nov 07, 2014 Bloodorange rated it liked it
I was fortunate to be reading this along Rapt Attention and the Focused Life; Sontag's journal is an excellent example of how focus works. Sontag was - or seemed - very effective in directing her attention and _organising her interests into projects and areas for further study_. (She also suffered from severe case of tunnel vision romantically, or so she comes accross). I believe the standard response to this volume is to wish to write more - notes, lists, projects.
Zöe Yu
Dec 27, 2012 Zöe Yu rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to understand more thoughts beyond Susan Sontag's interviews and novels. I wanted to say more here, but probably I'd better go back to my proposal and nail that one first.

She categories writers with three teams. And the publishing of this book already made her in the third team, as she wanted, to be like Kafka, that her words "become reference points for successive generations in many languages."

Jun 26, 2012 Ariel rated it it was amazing
The more important question is, "What did Carlotta think?"
Nov 18, 2013 TinHouseBooks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-we-love
Jamie Carr (Tin House Books, Editorial Intern): “5/5/64. The right hand = the hand that is aggressive, the hand that masturbates. Therefore, to prefer the left hand!…To romanticize it, to sentimentalize it!” And so begins Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980. Compiled by her daughter, this volume tracks Sontag’s wanderings, artistic influences, struggle to find a sense of self outside of her romantic relationships, anger about the American war ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Hannah marked it as to-read
"Being in love (l’amour fou) a pathological variant of loving. Being in love = addiction, obsession, exclusion of others, insatiable demand for presence, paralysis of other interests and activities. A disease of love, a fever (therefore exalting). One “falls” in love. But this is one disease which, if one must have it, is better to have often rather than infrequently. It’s less mad to fall in love often (less inaccurate for there are many wonderful people in the world) than only two or three tim ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Sabine rated it it was amazing
Disjointed, gorgeous, well-arranged and includes fascinating journal entries on lovers, projects completed and abandoned, and thoughts on art and literature. Would absolutely recommend to those familiar with/interested in Sontag.
L a n c e
so glad they are publishing these in such quick succession.
Nucleus ✣
مملّة بشكل .
Dec 21, 2016 Em rated it it was amazing
Shelves: at-capacity
just wow.
Jun 26, 2016 Julia rated it liked it
it was very strange to realize i'd read the first one of these two years ago, shortly after i graduated high school—it didn't feel like that long ago, sort of like how once sontag enters her thirties and forties the years go by faster and faster, roll into each other, the way teen years like fourteen and seventeen are so distant but of one's thirties can sort of be collapsed just like that—in any case this time, like last time, i found (not so much found as 'stumbled upon' but that phrase is so ...more
Mrs Briley
Apr 16, 2015 Mrs Briley rated it it was amazing
I need an infinite number of stars to rate this book accurately. These journals and notebooks (edited, at some points, annoyingly, and at other points, helpfully, by her son) are so interesting and relatable to me at this point in my life. The big ideas and daily questionings, the books and films, the artists and writers that Susan Sontag references are fascinating alone but the way that her mind is synthesizing and analyzing the world, making connections among conversations, observations, peopl ...more
Jul 11, 2016 Madziar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dzienniki Sontag nie powinny ukazać się w druku w takiej postaci. Redagujący je jej syn, David Rieff, sam przyznał, że wydana przez nią autobiografia byłaby błyskotliwym esejem - czyli zwartym i eleganckim potokiem myśli. Obecna forma jest czymś na kształt pośmiertnego gwałtu zadanego pisarce, która zaliczała się do wąskiego grona osób, które dbały niezwykle starannie o jakość tego, co tworzą, by uwalniać w świat. Swobodny potok myśli, na który nigdy nie pozwoliłaby sobie w książce, w wielu mome ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Jacqueline rated it liked it
I hate giving this only three stars's someone's journal. Someone who is brilliant and an incredible writer, but someone who, in this context, wrote for her self. Which means sometimes you get pages of lists of foreign films, or just the names of Russian intellectuals with a note "to read," or notes for an essay that point out to dozens of other works on the topic.

When Sontag is writing prose, actual paragraphs about her work or her family or her disappointments and joys, this is an incr
Nov 26, 2012 aconeyisland rated it really liked it
If the outside corresponded to the inner life in people, we couldn’t have “bodies” as we do. The inner life is too complex, too various, too fluid. Our bodies incarnate only a fraction of our inner lives. (The legitimate basis for the paranoid endless anxiety about what’s “behind” the appearances.) Given that they would still have inner lives of the energy + complexity that they have now, the bodies of people would have to be more like gas—something gaseous yet tangible-looking like clouds. Then ...more
Dec 16, 2012 Andreea rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio, acute
My favorite quotes:

Everyone else not real- very distant, small figures. I would have to swim a thousand miles to reach to the margin of the relationship, on the other side of which might lie other people, and it was too far, I was too tired. 

Can one overwhelm the experience by understanding? Or only replace it by another experience?

What makes fantasy plesurable, beareable for most of the people is that, usually, one doesn't want-really- for the fantasy to come true. (Sex, dreams of glory, etc).
Sarah Fonseca
The 'eh' rating's not on Susan, but Susan's editorial son, David Rieff, whose annotations were a bit too few and far between in some places (for example, it would've been nice to know that writer Sigrid Nunez and David were partnered at the time of these journals) and excessive in others. I'd read the first volume (Reborn) prior to this one and really enjoyed its flow, the balance of personal and ideological, and length. I wanted more. With this volume, I was overwhelmed; too much information, f ...more
Nov 21, 2014 Sabine rated it it was amazing
Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich mich auf einen Susan Sontag Read-athon begeben, eine Autorin, Essayistin, Welt-Intellektuelle die ich schon sehr lange bewundere und über die ich nach einer kürzlich gesehenen Dokumentation gerne noch mehr erfahren wollte. Als mir Daniel Schreibers Biografie “Susan Sontag. Geist und Glamour” in die Hände fiel, beschloss ich dieses “Mehr erfahren” großflächig in Angriff zu nehmen.

Neben der Biografie besorgte ich mir die Tagebücher “Reborn. Early Diaries 1947 – 1963″ u
Jul 30, 2013 Kayla rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
I learned about this book from the blog "brain pickings" which reviews off the beaten track books. Disjointed, passionate, brilliant snippets from the personal journals of Susan Sontag, edited by her son. At times, I felt like I was looking at things she really would have preferred to keep private. At other times, the writing felt strangely disconnected from reality:

"The right hand =the hand that is aggressive, the hand that masturbates. Therefore, to prefer the left hand! romanticize it, t
Nov 17, 2012 kathy rated it really liked it
Perhaps a great mind is not made, but born and perhaps you can never change your character from adolescence to adulthood. Sontag's mind was defined before she was even in college and it continues through her maturation in this second journal. What is significant, however, is that her insecurities and depression manifested herself during her adulthood, and through her battle with cancer, she did not write much about it or her battles, but her thoughts clearly reflected her sense of the illness, b ...more
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Jewish American literary critic, theorist, novelist, and filmmaker.
More about Susan Sontag...

Other Books in the Series

Journals of Susan Sontag (2 books)
  • Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

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