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Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 (Journals of Susan Sontag #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,803 Ratings  ·  176 Reviews
"I intend to do have one way of evaluating experience—does it cause me pleasure or pain, and I shall be very cautious about rejecting the painful—I shall anticipate pleasure everywhere and find it too, for it is everywhere! I shall involve myself wholly...everything matters!"

So wrote Susan Sontag in May 1949 at the age of sixteen. This, the first of three v
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2008)
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Apr 11, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't imagine Susan Sontag as a young person because I've always encountered her as the staggering, cultured-to-the-umpteenth-degree uber-cosmopolitan critic that she is in her essays. It's hard to imagine someone like that ever being a kid. The journals in Reborn start when she's fourteen and she's already more complicated, moody, and painfully self-conscious than most people four times her age. You don't really see a development here as much as you get these brief, staccato flashes of intens ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Salma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ما هي الفضيلة في فضح امرئ لقباحاته أمام الناس مبديا سوأته النفسية! في الاعتراف بحطته أمام الملأ؟
لم أستأ من كتاب منذ زمن كما استأت من اليوميات المبكرة لسوزان سونتاغ... تلك السيدة التي كنت أعجبت بحدة عقلها و تبصرها في كتابها الرائع ضد التأويل ومقالات أخرى... بتحليلاتها الذكية الواثقة... بترفعها و لغتها القوية و المستقلة... تلك التي أبهرتني قبل سنوات، تظهر في يومياتها هذه بأشد الصور ابتذالا و فجاجة و خنوعا... امرأة شاذة و ذليلة... ه
هذه يوميات كان يفترض بها أن تدفن مع صاحبتها... فهي لم تكن معدة للن
Nov 11, 2010 sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-oz
What an important book to read when your life is a mess.
James Murphy
Mar 06, 2012 James Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of three planned volumes of Sontag's journals, edited by her son David Rieff. This volume covers the young and precocious Sontag from age 14 to 30. It's a period of learning for her though she already appears learned.

The early entries are about 2 primary awakenings. First is a blossoming intellectual strength through studies at Berkeley, Oxford and the Sorbonne followed by a return to the U. S. and a professorship at Columbia. The early 60s also saw her writing her first novel,
Three years ago The Guardian ran some excerpts from an upcoming edition of Susan Sontag's journals, and despite being at that time little more to me than a massive literary reputation, I was dazzled by her penetrating, often brutal self-dissection of her own personality and intellect. I even dared think I recognized a sensibility shockingly similar to my own. Fast-forward through several years and the journals, a compilation of her earliest, are here, and yes, my suspicions have been borne out. ...more
Mohammed Yusuf

عند قراءتي لمذكرات أي كاتب ، تلوح في الأفق دوما لحظات قديمة في البال ، اشياء اشاركهم فيها سواءا بنفس الاتجاه او عكسه ، كأني بقراءة حياة الاخرين أقرأ حياتي ، أو كأني اضئ مصباحا لارى الشارع فارى غرفتي بالحين نفسه
As I read Susan Sontag's journals, I thought, as is I think kind of inevitable, where I was in my late teens and early 20s, when Sontag was off cavorting with geniuses in Paris and reading dense German romantic epic poems in the original. Let's face it, I was probably ripping a bong in an attic.

Sontag's journals, fractured as they are, are a remarkably portrait of the inner thoughts of one of the 20th Century's big name intellectuals, as she went through book after book and a couple of what were
Marwa Eletriby
السيره الذاتية - أما بتكون عبارة عن مذكرات كتبت في الماضي بدون أي نية
في نشرها - فقط - كتابة ذاتية - لا غرض لها
سوي توثيق لا يهم أحد سوي الكاتب نفسه
في هذه الحاله تكون أكثر صدقًا - اندفاعًا - بوحًا
بغض النظر عما تحويه - لكنها بالتأكد تحوي الواقع - الحقيقة دون أي محسَّنات أو تعديلات
فقط الحقيقة
ربما هذا ما يجعلها تكون قريبة للقلب
"I am not myself with people [...] but am I myself when alone? That seems unlikely, too."

When reflecting on Kafka's diaries, Sontag rightly writes that "Kafka has that magic of actuality in even the most dislocated phrase that no other modern has, a kind of shiver and grinding blue ache in your teeth." Sontag also praises the "clarity and precision" of Gide's diaries, remarking that she feels herself rapidly 'growing' through reading them. The charm of Sontag's diaries lies elsewhere - I think,
Mar 09, 2009 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first thing I've read by Sontag, and perhaps a strange place to start. As reading enjoyment the beginning was the most compelling as Sontag undergoes swift changes in her intellectual landscape and social life. Her endless list of books to read are all inspiring and act as doorways to other people to check out (Kafka's diaries, Gide). The latter part is a little more scattered, but still filled with interesting and often pretty dark views into her psyche while leaving her family behi ...more
أحمد شاكر
أعرف طبعاً أني فضولي. أو شديد الفضول. انكشف لي ذلك من حبي وشغفي لقراءة يوميات الآخرين. قديما كانت دفاتر أبي. وبعد ذلك كانت اليوميات المنشورة.

 في يوميات سوزان سونتاغ المبكرة  (1947- 1963) - ولادة ثانية، سيتكشف للقارئ جمال التدوين أو التسجيل اليومي. فالكاتبة طوال الوقت كانت منهمكة في حوار ذاتي داخلي؛ عتاب وحساب. كانت تكتب وتعلق على الأفكار التي تراودها. والكتب التي تقرأها. والأشخاص الذين تقابلهم. وأصدقاؤها الذين ارتبطت بهم. وقوائمها التي لا تنتهي. ورحلاتها التي قامت بها. ومشاكلها النفسية وأوجاعها.
I read The Volcano Lover: A Romance a while back and seem to remember enjoying it, or at least not hating it. I meant to read more Sontag at that time, but then as typical I got distracted by something else. But then I came across this in the store, flipped through it, and fell in love.

I love journals. My own, artist's journals, writer's journals, your journal, whatever. If I'm given permission, I'll read it. But it's sort of a touchy thing with me, one that causes a lot of internal conflict. On
Jan 23, 2016 *nawaf rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

في البداية أعترف أن محرر هذه اليوميات ديفيد ريف ـ ابن سوزان سونتاغ ـ لم يكن بارًا بأمه عندما نشر هذه اليوميات إذ لم تكن يوميات بالمعنى المتعارف عليه ولكنها ملاحظات مبعثرة لم تكتب بانتظام.
ولدت سوزان في يناير ١٩٣٣ فهذه اليوميات تعتبر الجزء الأول من ثلاثة أجزاء شكل الجزء الاول الفترة الزمنية ١٩٤٧ - ١٩٦٣ (٢٤-٣٠) سنة، وصدر الجزء الثاني تحت عنوان "كما يُسَخَّر الجسد للوعي" ١٩٦٤ - ١٩٨٠ (٣١-٤٧) سنة.
وهذه اليوميات كما قلت يوميات مبعثرة كتب بدون انتظام ولا تفصيل، أفضل ما في هذه اليوميات شغف الكاتبة بالك
Zöe Yu
Jul 27, 2011 Zöe Yu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't score her lower, wrote this at a such young age, mostly about her bisexual life in NY Chicago SF and Paris, should be more real if David didnt delete so many words! No wonder she was buried in Paris, Paris for her is the city where inspirited all her thoughts. Gedanke! All things about her relationship, early marriage, David's childhood are so attractive. And I knew it's something about me! Irene is one of the most important girl in the journal, and philip Rieff as well, but actually you c ...more
С'юзен Зонтаґ ціле життя вела щоденники. Після її смерті увесь її архів перейшов у власність університету і потрапив у відносно відкритий доступ, себто публікація щоденників стала справою часу. Видання врешті підготував її син, який сумнівався у доцільності публікації, але вирішив, що краще вже він, аніж хтось інший. Бозна, що пропущено редакційним відбором, та й відсутність коментарів не тішить, тож, в принципі, caveat lector.
Читво тим часом прецікаве. Перший том, умовно кажучи, документує житт
Jun 10, 2009 cat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ironically, nearly my favorite part of Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963, edited by her son, David Rieff, is his painfully straightforward preface to the book. The NYTimes review captures the tone of it perfectly in this quote:

"All but visibly wincing, he states that he would rather have left them unpublished. They are raw and unvarnished and perhaps that is a virtue; still, they contain “much that I would have preferred not to know and not to have others know.” Reading her entries, he
Dec 22, 2015 Urszula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ta książka przypomniała mi czym jest pisarstwo na najwyższym poziomie. Erudycja, elokwencja, intelektualizm Susan Sontag - nawet w zapiskach tworzonych przez nią gdy miała kilkanaście lat - wciąga w świat niesamowitej głębi postrzegania i refleksji. Zdawkowe komentarze, czy to o życiu, czy filozofii albo zaskakują znakomitą trafnością, albo pobudzają do empatycznego wczucia. Po lekturze tkwi we mnie jednak obawa, że przeprowadzona przez syna selekcja zapisków jest zbyt skromna. Sam przyznaje się ...more
1. One must bear in mind, reading this selection from Susan Sontag's diaries, why they were edited and published in the first place: Sontag sold her diaries, along with all her writings, to the UCLA library, and since there was no clause limiting rights to access or publication of these materials, her son, journalist David Rieff, decided to order and publish the diaries as a form of preemptive strike (feeling/phrasing mine).

2. Three planned volumes are to represent nearly 100 notebooks.

3. The d
Jan 23, 2009 zan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No one can deny that Susan Sontag was brilliant. Her way with words, even in journals, completely astounds me. But reading this without any serious biographical notation or experience with her other writings from this time left me feeling unhinged and unconnected to her notes. I feel guilty giving a star rating to anyone's journals, but as an edited and published book, I think I can make an exception.

Still, my three stars should not discourage anyone from reading this who is already a fan of Su
this was such an interesting read; had the effect of making me feel like a huge underachiver (when Sontag was my age she was already a college freshman?? I'm freaking over a-level philosophy and she's read so much so deeply so varied???) but it's also cool to get this insight into her mind, to see that there were ideas/worries, things weren't always perfectly formulated, etc.

some parts I skimmed over - there are a lot of lists! fun to write, less fun to read, I think? some documentation got a b
Muntaser Ibrahim
Feb 11, 2016 Muntaser Ibrahim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"بالنسبة لآي، حب أحد ما يعني كشفه. بالنسبة لي، حب أحد ما يعني مساندته، الوقوف معه حتى في أكاذيبه."
Sara Mauritzen
noe interessant, det meste ikke. (må tenke litt på det)
Ola Loobeensky

Jeżeli ktoś będzie kiedyś usiłował wmówić ci, że zna człowieka bardziej spiętego, znerwicowanego i ambitnego, niż wczesna Susan Sontag – wątp w to. Ponad trzysta stron uwag na temat książek, filmów, muzyki, filozofii, wrażenia z terapii, przemyślenia dotyczące osób, życia seksualnego: to wszystko, napisane stylem rwanym, gorączkowym, wchodzi w skład wydanej niedawno "Odrodzonej", stanowiącej pierwszy tom planowanej przez wydawnictwo Karakter trylogii dzienników. Wyłania się z nich bez
من الصعوبة تقييم هذا الكتاب فهو عبارة عن يوميات شخصية لم تكن معدة للنشر وأصدرت 4 سنوات بعد وفاة صاحبتها التي تعتبر من بين أشهر ناقدات الأدب في أمريكا... كنت متحمس للكتاب في البداية نظرا لفضولي لمعرفة محتوياته. هناك تفاصيل شخصية خاصة ربما لم تكن تريد أن يعرفها الناس وبالتالي كان يجب أن يحصل على الموافقة عوض نشر الكتاب من دون التأكد من حقيقة رغبتها... اليوميات هي نصوص نكتب فيها بحرية كبيرة وجامحة وبالتالي من العيب أن ينشر أحدهم يوميات أمه لمجرد الرغبة في النشر، الشهرة أو الربح المالي... يجب أن يكو ...more
Jun 02, 2009 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An impossible book to rate, so I'm going with the tyranny of the mean.

Personally, I found it really interesting to visit with the lists and rants of young Sontag - I love her essays and am fascinated by the life arc that supported her thinking, and there's something inherently entertaining about hanging out with her notebooks of old. I do feel like I learned something here, though it wasn't anything that had ever been a secret - it was more about what kind of space she carved out for her inner
Aug 06, 2010 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ardith
Shelves: journals
A delight it is to read Susan Sontag's notes and thoughts between the ages of 14 and 30, to be impressed by her intellect, to identify with her flawed relationships with women, to sit in bed reading all this, becoming absorbed by her life, like it moves me somehow. I'm still new to her body of work, but I have this image of her as very serious, full of poise, upright posture, always certain. That's why it surprised me to read the later entries where she was in such self-doubt, asking herself how ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Andreea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio
idea 1 to digest - " jerry bruner: how does X judges that Y ishis friend (likes him)? Women tend to judge on the basis of giving behaviour - if Y has given X presents, X judges that Y likes her. Men tend to be suspicious of giving- behaviours, judge on the evidence of the agreement. X judges that Y likes him if he agrees with him"

idea 2: "the most precious thing is vitality - not in any sinister (D.H.) Lawrentian sense, but just the will + the energy + appetite to do what one whants to do + not
Rose Gowen
I always read autobiographical writing thinking, "I do that/I'm like that-- but I'm not like that, I never do that." I'm not a lesbian or a towering intellect, but there was plenty that was familiar here. I was feeling dull in my writing, and hoping to find something to perk me up, but this isn't a book for that-- she's more often exhorting herself to write more than expressing joy or pleasure in it. (I found it so interesting that she worried about spending all the thought she might use for wri ...more
Mar 12, 2011 Dasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I carried this around at the Strand for a whole hour and tried to put it down a number of times, but it just stuck to me. And then when I was in line the girl behind me praised it greatly.
I am not much of a diarist, but in a strange way this book made me feel whole, like I HAD been keeping a diary since I was 14.
I don't know who to recommend it for, but it's a book that expanded on my relationship with other people - poorly phrased and lofty, but there you are.
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Jewish American literary critic, theorist, novelist, and filmmaker.
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“It hurts to love. It's like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.” 166 likes
“My emotional life: dialectic between craving for privacy and need to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to another.” 150 likes
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