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At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches

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3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  564 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews

Sontag's incisive intelligence, expressive brilliance, and deep curiosity about art, politics, and the writer's responsibility to bear witness have secured her place as one of the most important thinkers and writers of the twentieth century.

At the Same Time gathers sixteen essays and speeches written in the last years of Sontag's life, when her work was being honored o

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Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Picador (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maria
“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world." image: [image error] photo sontag_zpshddkxi9f.jpg

Como mi segundo libro en este reto literario del 2017, que tiene como finalidad conocer a escritoras alrededor del mundo, opte por Susan Sontag de Estados Unidos. Novelista, fotógrafa, directora de cine, activista de varios movimientos políticos y sociales, así también como defensora de los derechos humanos y la libertad de expresión, Sontag fue nacida en Nueva York en 1933 y fue egresada de universidades como O
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Richard
I really enjoyed this book.

I think the best part is the first section. I particularly liked the essays about Victor Serge and Anna Banti.

The section on 9/11 and its aftermath was also powerful.

I found the speeches uneven but definitely worthwhile.

If truth is light I think this book should glow in the dark.
Devora
Apr 21, 2013 Devora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Her use of language was masterful - the kind that just makes on want to recite it out loud to hear the words roll off ones tongue. The works in this collection were Sontag at her best - impeccably thought out and admirably executed!
Matthew
Dec 24, 2016 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays-theory
At the Same Time gathers sixteen essays & speeches by Susan Sontag, including: "An Argument About Beauty", "1926...Pasternak, Tsvetayeva, Rilke", "Loving Dostoyevsky", "A Double Destiny: On Anna Banti's Artemisia", "Unextinguished: The Case for Victor Serge", "9.11.01", "A Few Weeks After", "One Year After", "Photography: A Little Summa", "Regarding the Torture of Others", "The Conscience of Words", "The World as India", "On Courage and Resistance", "Literature Is Freedom", "At the Same Time ...more
Erin
Jan 04, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Time exists in order that it doesn't happen all at once...space exists so that it doesn't all happen to you" (226). The essay "At the Same Time" has been an aid in understanding my ability/inability to process the latest horrors in the holy land. Arguing for literature's value, Sontag writes, "Hearing the shattering news of the great earthquake that leveled Lisbon [in 1755], and (if historians are to be believed) took with it a whole society's optimism (but obviously I don't believe that any so ...more
Nejra
I began with her last. As a whole, as a book, I'm not really sure how successful it is. I suppose the thing it lacks is cohesion - though this is to be somewhat expected in a book composed of a number of essays and speeches on a number of diverging topics. Though the issues explored remain as relevant as always, in the 10 years+ that have passed since being written, her approach at times teeters on becoming dated. Yet again, this is probably not a fair criticism, since death has denied Sontag th ...more
Laura
Feb 15, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It has been a lot time since I've read such a well written book. If you really love reading and you care a lot about form, structure and the use of argumentation in essays this is definately a must read. It has definitely pushed my ideas beyond my current comfortable state of mind.
Kevin Brown
I have been hearing/reading for years that I should read Susan Sontag, so I finally got around to doing so. Unfortunately, her work was not what I had hoped. She's clearly writing on important issues, as these essays center around the idea of freedom, both politically and literarily, and she writes about them well enough (the first section of this book, though, is largely about Russian writers I'm mainly not interested in/have not read). I think my overall problem with her work is that she's too ...more
Melanie  Hilliard
Jan 01, 2014 Melanie Hilliard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While not her best, it is alas, the last. It was helpful also to read the foreword to better understand the context of these essays and how truly heart breaking to read the lament that she wishes she had more time to write about what burned deep inside her.

Many, many wonderful "big ideas" broken down into tiny bits:

1. There is no final photograph.

2. Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged.

3. The likelihood that you
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Aaron Gallardo
Mar 09, 2015 Aaron Gallardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madame Sontag es brillante, es aguda, es seria (asunto este último que podría pasar por defecto, si la empresa de su vida no hubiera sido tan grande). En estos ensayos se dedica a plantarnos ideíllas en pos de la libertad, sobre todo, además de las funciones, derechos y la ética de los escritores, la traducción, y la literatura misma. Nos habla de la modernidad (que ha de leerse como posmodernidad), de la fotografía, de los viajes, de la tortura. Pero Al mismo tiempo -como Sontag misma- no es un ...more
CamiBlue
Sep 28, 2014 CamiBlue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Este libro contiene tanta sabiduría, lucidez, alma... que no creo haber captado absolutamente todo en 1 sola leída. Este es un manual definitivo para ser no solo mejores escritores, sino también para ser un mejor ciudadano, crítico, moral, compasivo. Solo me queda decir, ¡qué gran mujer la Sontag, qué gran mente, qué ser humano!
Laura
Jun 03, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute triumph.
Marcelo Dalannays
Cuando compré este libro lo único que conocía de Susan Sontag era su nombre y reputación. Al principio sentí que confirmaba algunos prejuicios sobre el intelectual infumable (o mejor dicho, el que indirectamente quiere mostrar cuánto sabe) y lo abandoné un buen tiempo. Mi opinión cambió radicalmente al tomarlo de nuevo.

Una colección de ensayos, artículos, conferencias y discursos, “Al mismo tiempo” es -me juego una carta, porque no tengo más antecedentes- el mejor boleto para entrar al mundo de
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Robert Isenberg
Like all of Sontag's work, "At the Same Time" has its pros and cons: It's more accessible than some of her other essays and reviews, but it's not nearly as powerful or universal as "Regarding the Pain of Others." The reviews were particularly interesting, because Sontag seemed drawn to obscure authors, giving her a chance to unravel their biographical yarns. The 9/11 essays were typically bitter, much like John Berger's sentiments from the same period (and should it be surprising? Two Leftist ae ...more
Mr.
Oct 07, 2008 Mr. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Sontag was one of the most insightful and intelligent essayists of the last century. Her death is a tremendous loss to American Arts and Letters. At the Same Time is a collection of postumously published essays and speeches from the last few years. The collection reads like much of her work: articulate, precise, and always intellectually and morally "serious." I particularly liked her essay on Dostoyevsky and on translation, her clarity and depth of thought are truly reminiscent of Walter ...more
Bert
Je zou kunnen zeggen dat Susan Sontag voor een breed publiek schrijft - de essays in deze bundel (veelal dankspeeches en lezingen) zijn zeer toegankelijk; vlot en direct geschreven in een eenvoudige taal. Maar die eenvoud blijkt vaak niet enkel in de taal gekropen. De gedachtegang en bijhorende argumentering zijn zeer goed te volgen (ook voor wie zichzelf tot leek bestempelt in het besproken onderwerp), maar worden soms een beetje vervelend (saai zelfs) - wanneer Sontag schrijvers portretteert b ...more
Alex Mee
Kind of average compared to her other works, so much so it's probably my least favourite collection of essays of hers. She still posses her trademark argumentative flair with a fist strong hold on economy, it's just that I don't think the topics are as worthy of discussion. The essay on Dostoyevsky is basically a brief bio on completely different author, and while her post 9/11 essays are damning, they are also somewhat repetitive. Most of the back end of the book are speeches, which I found a l ...more
Cynthia
I didn't finish the whole book before I had to return it to the library.

I read her fantastic essay, An Argument About Beauty, which I will not forget because I loved it; 1926...Pasternak, Tsvetayeva, Rilke; Loving Dostoyevsky (about Leonid Tsypkin's Summer in Baden Baden); Unextinguished: the Case for Victor Serge; and A Double Destiny: On Anna Banti's Artemesia. (All waiting on my shelves to be read.)

I skimmed the Laxness essay and the rest, which doesn't count as reading. I felt a failing desi
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Kony
Aug 14, 2011 Kony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sontag was a seriously smart woman. In these pieces she riffs wisely on beauty, politics, literature's role, photography and modernity. She wasn't a gritty writer; she was an elite thinker who adored life expressed through "high" culture. But she wasn't scared to look evil and pain in the face and to confront it in a bold tone.

As a writer, I don't strive to emulate Sontag; her ideas aren't articulated as accessibly as they deserve to be. But I learn a lot from her nonetheless. Her writing leaves
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Stella Wang
May 25, 2016 Stella Wang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Especially enjoyed the part when she talks about Russian literature, Dostoyevsky and one of my fave poet, Rilke. Definitely worth for a reread. From the part "The World as India":

A writer is first of all a reader. It is from reading that I derive the standards by which I measure my own work and according to which I fall lamentably short. It is from reading, even before writing, tha I became part of a community - the community of literature.
Jacob
Mar 31, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These essays are some of my favorite this year. Sontag's voice is more a glimpse into her mind and the thoughts that have gathered together to make sense of a dramatically changing word. The world or literature, political policy, culture, and communication. Her vision is clear, thoughtful, and neither black nor white. Each of these essays make an argument that is fluid and open for change and interpretation. I will come back to this collection many times.
Melonie The
Jul 10, 2009 Melonie The rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last collection of essays by Sontag, the\work she was comopiling before she died. I am going to copy her essays on 9-11 and its aftermath, plus one on photography that describes our current way of seeing in fragments with previous mankinds way of seeing the whole picture. I couldn't give her five stars because the essays about writers and works I don't know are slow reading, for me.
Rachel
Dec 17, 2011 Rachel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Another great dollar tree find! :-)

"A writer is first of all a reader. It is from reading that I derive the standards by which I measure my own work and according to which I fall lamentably short. It is from reading, even before writing, that I became part of a community -- the community of literature -- which includs more dead than living writers." ~ Susan Sontag
Dara
Jul 25, 2007 Dara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big Sontag fan so when this came out I had to get it. It's a collection of speeches and essays and they are not grouped thematically, so the collection is a bit disjointed at times. But if you love Sontag, you should read it. She was such an important person.
Christine Cordula Dantas
A good variety of articles that compose Sunsan Sontag's last "book" (when she died, only a summary of the texts she would use to compose the book was left). As a deep writer, I enjoyed much more reading her literature evaluations than her others texts in this collection.
Matteo Baldi
Nov 08, 2011 Matteo Baldi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sontaggato come "Sontag".
Sono una raccolta di riflessioni, articoli, idee, pensieri.
Lo stile maturo di una intellettuale onnivora non si fa mai maniera, e noi beviamo a quella fonte.
Un punto d'accesso all'opera di Susan.
Lauren G
who doesn't find sontag interesting. i read a few of these essays, and would like to read more. i'm looking forward to reading more. i prefer her less academic explorations, and enjoy her more 'overview' type pieces which incorporate her lightning sharp intelligence and vast worldly knowledge.
Alex
Feb 06, 2015 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A better example of posthumously published essays, Sontag wanted these ones collected. Sontag writes where her interests take her, but she takes the reader with her. It's a skill, and it served her well.
David
Jan 23, 2008 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always liked Sontag from her remarkable "Against Interpretation" essays, and this book didn't disappoint. She contemplates 9/11 in a series of essays -- the day of, a few weeks after, a year after. Also, she includes a thrilling essay on the relationship between America and Europe.
Lisa Graf
A little disappointed in the book itself. Too wordy for me. Great insights and takes on life & what not, but just not my kind of 'amazing' essay collection.
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Jewish American literary critic, theorist, novelist, and filmmaker.
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“Time exists in order that everything doesn’t happen all at once…and space exists so that it doesn’t all happen to you.” 182 likes
“The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community.” 161 likes
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