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A Susan Sontag Reader

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Susan Sontag occupies a special place in Modern American letters. She has become our most important critic, while her brilliant novels and short fiction are, at long last, getting the recognition they deserve. Sontag is above all a writer, which is only to say that, though the form may differ, there is an essential unity in all her work. The truth of this is perhaps more e
Paperback, 446 pages
Published September 12th 1983 by Vintage (first published 1982)
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Zöe Yu
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
It has a really good introduction by Elizabeth Hardwick. She points out several very important aspects in Susan Sontag's career (as top sentences appearing in a paragraph), however, in the following sentences, I could not agree with her on some ideas.

Since this is an introduction for a book of Susan Sontag's excerpts, it doesn't have to be a professional essay or academic article. But I feel the obligation to demonstrate the difference between Susan Sontag's essay and fiction. Her fictions coul
Claudia Putnam
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I mostly jumped around in this, for I must admit that I hadn't read all the books or seen all the films she was talking about and am not likely to get around to them. I think you either cover that stuff in college or during a certain time in your life or you don't. But there was enough there that grabbed me. People often say her fiction is not as compelling as the rest of her work, but I wish, as she apparently did, that she'd pursued fiction more, or been encouraged to, because her writing is v ...more
Gary Lang
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Favorite quote from her article on Godard: “Surely, Monsieur Godard,” asked an exasperated Georges Franju of his fellow French filmmaker, “you do at least acknowledge the necessity of having a beginning, middle and end in your films?”

“Certainly,” replied Godard, “but not necessarily in that order.”
Mohamed Omran
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
هذا ما تتقصاه (سوزان سونتاغ) في خطابها المذهل لقبول جائزة القدس عام ٢٠٠١ والذي نشر تحت عنوان “ضمير الكلمات” في كتابها (في آنٍ واحد: مقالات وخطابات). الكتاب الذي لا غنى عنه والذي نشر بعد وفاتها من مقتطفات أدبية مختارة أتاحت لنا مقالات عدة لـ(سونتاغ) عن الشجاعة الأخلاقية وقوة المقاومة المنضبطة للظلم، الأدب والحرية ، الجمال مقابل الجاذبية، ونصيحتها للكتاب.

تبدأ (سونتاغ) بقياس مرونة اللغة وقدرة الكلمات على تضخيم المعاني بالقدر نفسه الذي يمكنها به تقليصها.

نحن الكتاب تقلقنا الكلمات. تحمل الكلمات معاني
Feb 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
اگرچه سوزان سونتاگ در ایران بیشتر به یک منتقد ادبی و اجتماعی نویس معروف است، و بی تردید در این زمینه ها کارهای بزرگی تالیف کرده است، اما رمان های سونتاگ کارهای زیبایی ست که ندیده یا نشنیده ام که به فارسی ترجمه شده باشد.علت این امر برایم روشن نیست که چرا بجز چند مقاله، دیگر آثار او به فارسی برگردانده نشده. تعجب من بیش تر از آن است که در میان فمینیست های نسل تازه در ایران هم کسی در زمینه ی ترجمه ی آثار سونتاگ اقدامی نکرده است. سوزان سونتاگ که از روشنفکران آمریکایی متعلق به دهه ی 1960 است، با همان ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
In her essays, Sontag was eloquent and forceful, contemptuous against "philistines" who insisted to intellectualize art. They commit the high crime of interpretation through "contents". And the art here can be anything from paintings to novels. She cited many examples on modern masters -- how dare someone assigning Stanley of "a Streetcar named Desire" as the brutal force of a sensual barbarism? Right or wrongly; the fact that the offending Elia Kazan attempted such art is derisible.

There is no
Nov 15, 2013 added it
I like her broad range of topics, although I didn't read all of the essays, especially in which she reviewed directors or other writers. She seems both within and outside of popular culture in a way that I admire. I particularly liked "Against Interpretation", which verbalizes a lot of my issues with interacting with and talking about something that is non-verbal or experiential. I would read more of her essays.
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I haven't read every essay in this volume, but there are some real favorites in here. In later years, Sontag always ran the risk of not living up to her own opinion of herself, but some of the earlier essays, when she is just discovering Barthes, e.g., show a hunger for ideas about art and culture and a generalized ideal of what it means to be an intellectual that is subtle and inspiring.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recentlyread
Only occasionally dated or jargony. Most of these pieces are still fresh and worth reading, even when they seem to be some of the earliest English-language surveys of someone like Godard or Barthes or Bresson.
Terry Tsurigi
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Even though I admire her tastes (big, complex, ambitious, philosophical works), her writing style seems dated.
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Jewish American literary critic, theorist, novelist, and filmmaker.
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