Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Against Interpretation and Other Essays

Rate this book
Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the famous essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Lévi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought.

This edition has a new afterword, "Thirty Years Later," in which Sontag restates the terms of her battle against philistinism and against ethical shallowness and indifference.

312 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 1964

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Susan Sontag

243 books3,951 followers
Susan Sontag was born in New York City on January 16, 1933, grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and attended high school in Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from the College of the University of Chicago and did graduate work in philosophy, literature, and theology at Harvard University and Saint Anne’s College, Oxford.

Her books include four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America; a collection of short stories, I, etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed and Lady from the Sea; and nine works of nonfiction, starting with Against Interpretation and including On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, Where the Stress Falls, Regarding the Pain of Others, and At the Same Time. In 1982, Farrar, Straus & Giroux published A Susan Sontag Reader.

Ms. Sontag wrote and directed four feature-length films: Duet for Cannibals (1969) and Brother Carl (1971), both in Sweden; Promised Lands (1974), made in Israel during the war of October 1973; and Unguided Tour (1983), from her short story of the same name, made in Italy. Her play Alice in Bed has had productions in the United States, Mexico, Germany, and Holland. Another play, Lady from the Sea, has been produced in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Korea.

Ms. Sontag also directed plays in the United States and Europe, including a staging of Beckett's Waiting for Godot in the summer of 1993 in besieged Sarajevo, where she spent much of the time between early 1993 and 1996 and was made an honorary citizen of the city.

A human rights activist for more than two decades, Ms. Sontag served from 1987 to 1989 as president of the American Center of PEN, the international writers’ organization dedicated to freedom of expression and the advancement of literature, from which platform she led a number of campaigns on behalf of persecuted and imprisoned writers.

Her stories and essays appeared in newspapers, magazines, and literary publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, Art in America, Antaeus, Parnassus, The Threepenny Review, The Nation, and Granta. Her books have been translated into thirty-two languages.

Among Ms. Sontag's many honors are the 2003 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the 2003 Prince of Asturias Prize, the 2001 Jerusalem Prize, the National Book Award for In America (2000), and the National Book Critics Circle Award for On Photography (1978). In 1992 she received the Malaparte Prize in Italy, and in 1999 she was named a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government (she had been named an Officier in the same order in 1984). Between 1990 and 1995 she was a MacArthur Fellow.

Ms. Sontag died in New York City on December 28, 2004.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,281 (39%)
4 stars
3,385 (40%)
3 stars
1,365 (16%)
2 stars
268 (3%)
1 star
67 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 524 reviews
Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,376 reviews12k followers
January 10, 2021

Susan Sontag, 1933-2004 - American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, political activist

One of the leading critics of her generation, Susan Sontag's powerful voice is much in evidence in this outstanding collection. For the purposes of my review, I will focus on the lead essay, Against Interpretation, an essay that continues to speak profoundly to us today. Here are a batch of direct quotes coupled with my comments:

"None of us can ever retrieve that innocence before all theory when art knew no need to justify itself, when one did not ask of a work of art what it said because one knew (or thought one knew) what it did." ---------- Thus, we inheritors of Western Civilization are forever cutoff from the way other civilizations regarded art – for example, we place Aztec art in our museums and subject the artifacts to interpretation within our Western theories. Quite different than the Aztecs themselves!

"The modern style of interpretation excavates, and as it excavates, destroys; it digs “behind” the text, to find a sub-text which is the true one. The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation." ---------- Susan Sontag published this essay in 1962. In addition to all of the Marxist and Freudian interpretations of art and literature in the last sixty years, one can imagine the huge number of interpretations and analysis employing Postmodern theories. But whatever the Postmodern theory, Susan Sontag would deem them of little value compared to a direct engagement with the work of art or literature itself.

"Thus, interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities. Interpretation must itself be evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts, interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling." ---------- Susan Sontag leaves no doubt interpretation in our modern age falls into the second class - reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling. Fortunately, as she points out, once we recognize the limited historic and cultural context of such stifling interpretations, they will not have the last say.

"Even more. It is the revenge of the intellect upon the world. To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world—in order to set up a shadow world of “meanings.” It is to turn the world into this world. (“This world”! As if there were any other.) The world, our world, is depleted, impoverished enough. Away with all duplicates of it, until we again experience more immediately what we have." ---------- For me, Susan Sontag's words here bring to mind one of my favorite quotes regarding art, written by 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: "Treat a work of art like a prince. Let it speak to you first."

"In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, comformable." ----------- One of the most insipid attempts to tame a work of art I've come across was from a religious fundamentalist's review of Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf. His review was brief. He said: "Like the Book of Revelation says, "All is vanity." Really? Might your literary judgement be a tad reductionist?

"Interpretation, based on the highly dubious theory that a work of art is composed of items of content, violates art. It makes art into an article for use, for arrangement into a mental scheme of categories." ----------- Well stated, Susan! As if the richness and depth of a work of art is but a means to undergird a writer's chosen theory.

"What is important now is to recover our senses." ---------- Susan Sontag alludes to our senses being continually bombarded by mass media, having the effect of dulling our senses and feelings toward our everyday world and toward our appreciation of art and literature. In our current culture, think of the tyranny of pop music in nearly all public places, the tyranny of television in hospitals, airports, restaurants and other public spaces. Additionally, how many hours do people sit in front of the boob tube in the privacy of their own homes?

"We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more." ---------- Sorry to say, the overwhelming amount of time in most people's lives is living in the head, living in unending internal chatter. I recall one of my meditation teachers' words, "Our senses are nourished when we become quiet and relaxed. We can experience each sense, savoring its essence." And how can we cultivate such richness of the senses? A good first step would be to spend time away from television and devote a portion of our day to a direct experience of literature and the arts.

"The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means." ---------- This is one major reason I shy away from literary criticism of any sort. Give me a good book review of a novel any day -- where the reviewer writes about things like the characters, what the story is, the writing style - no a word on what the novel "means."
Profile Image for Michael.
655 reviews964 followers
March 16, 2020
A wide-ranging debut collection of essays on art, film, and literature that’s as stimulating today as it was when it was first released in the ‘60s. Sontag’s caustic wit, sharp prose, and succinct observations about aesthetics make all the essays worth reading, even though many of her ideas have long since been absorbed into the mainstream. Here, she examines everything from existentialist thought to the tropes of science fiction, and her mind’s always interesting to follow.
Profile Image for Amir .
555 reviews38 followers
October 24, 2015
دو کلمه راجع‌به اسی
قبلا چندباری نوشتم که چقدر قالب اسی رو دوست دارم. دلایلش هر چی باشه مطمئنا مهم‌ترینش به این برمی‌گرده که یه اسی خوب نیاز داره به یه اسی‌نویس جالب. هیچ تضمینی وجود نداره که نویسنده‌ی یه مقاله‌ی آکادمیک درخشان یه آدم دوست‌داشتنی باشه. اما خاصیت اسی خوب اینه که نیاز داره نویسنده‌ش بازیگوش‌تر و سر به هواتر و بانمک‌تر از یه مقاله‌نویس و باهوش‌تر و عمیق‌تر و تیزبین‌تر از یه ستون‌نویس باشه. طبیعتا توی اسی نباید دنبال افکار و آرای اصیل (به فرض این‌که آرای اصیلی وجود داشته باشن) گشت. اما بعید هست که یه اسی خوب رو خوند و بعد از تموم شدنش فکر خوندن چند تا کتاب یا دیدن چند تا فیلم خوب رو نداشت. اسی‌نویسی کار چندان آسونی نیست، به شدت با سبک زندگی نویسنده‌ش گره خورده و همه‌ی جوانب زندگی نویسنده‌ش می‌تونه ماده‌ی خام باشه واسه یه دریچه‌ی جدید برای موضوع متن. برای همین باید قدر اسی‌نویس‌های خوب رو دونست. بین نمونه‌های ایرانی اسی‌نویس‌های موفق "احمد اخوت" و متن‌های بی‌نظیرش توی مجله‌ی "سینما و ادبیات" اون‌قدر برام جذابیت داره که در حال حاضر تنها کسی هست که به معنی واقعی کلمه منتظر خوندن متن بعدیشم

و اما علیه تفسیر
اگه شما هم علاقه‌ی وافری دارید به زمزمه کردن جمله‌ی "گور بار نظریه‌ی مرگ مولف" سوزان سونتاگ هم یکی از همین آدم‌های دوست‌داشتنی میشه براتون. علیه تفسیر مجموعه‌ی متونی هست که سوزان سونتاگ بین سال‌های 1962 تا 1965 در مواجهه با دنیای مدرن پیش روش قلمی کرده. کتابی که توش هم از ادبیات حرف زده، هم از نمایش و رابطه‌ش با ادبیات نمایشی، هم از سینما و هم از هنرهای تجسمی. تنها حلقه‌ی وصل این اسی‌ها شاید نگاه فرمالیستی نویسنده به این پدیده‌ها باشه که وجه تئوریکش رو توی اولین متن کتاب بسط داده.
اما فارغ از این مساله وقتی این مجموعه رو می‌خونی [حتی بخش‌های مربوط به تحلیل اجرای خاص یک گروه نمایشی از یه نمایشنامه و مقایسه‌ی اون با اجراهای دیگه که مخاطبین اصلیش خواننده‌های هم‌عصر نویسنده هستن] دنیایی جلوت ترسیم میشه که دوس داری بیشتر بشناسیش. برای درک بهتر این متن‌ها شاید نیاز باشه که با ارجاعات بی‌پایانش خصوصیتی داشته باشی. اما این مساله اون‌قدر حاد نیست که این متن رو به یه متن صرفا وابسته به متن اصلی تبدیل کنه و همین قابلیت، کتاب رو برای یه مخاطب غیرمتخصص به یه اثر خوندنی تبدیل می‌کنه؛ کتابی که میشه بعدها بارها و بارها بهش برگشت

آخر کار
دوست دارم همون‌جوری که تو استتوس‌ها شروعش کردم همون‌جوری هم تموم کنم:

نویسنده‌ای که خوب بو می‌کشه+ مترجمی که کتاب رو فهمیده+ طراحی جلد و ع��ف و پشت جلد بی‌نظیر+ قطع کتاب در اندازه‌ی مناسب+ جنس کاغذ عالی [و نه لزوما با کیفیت]+ از همه مهم‌تر کتاب بوی خوب داره
این یه کتاب خالی نیست، یه شاهکار "تولید" هست
ماشااله به نشر بیدگل
Profile Image for DoctorM.
836 reviews2 followers
December 16, 2012
There was a time, long ago and in another age, when anyone at university who wanted to be well-read or conversant with things intellectual read this book. I'm one of them. I sat in Cross Campus at New Haven and devoured "Against Interpretation" one autumn afternoon. Needless to say, I had a deep intellectual crush on Susan Sontag--- ah, I thought, if only I'd been able to court her in some alternate New York where we were both eighteen or nineteen! I still love this book, all these years later. It brings up an age when ideas mattered, when there was passion in the air about sweeping away old thoughts and discovering and valorising the new. The title essay and "Notes on Camp" remain...well...brilliant. A classic book, then--- more than just a reminder of the world of my Lost Youth. Sontag was fierce and infuriating and witty and opinionated and razor-sharp and often wrongheaded and deeply engaged in art and politics and culture--- someone whose voice was there shaping debates and offering up alternatives. I miss that kind of passion in the intellectual world. And I do recommend this book--- read it and learn how to love the clash of ideas.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,443 followers
July 31, 2023
Firește, Susan Sontag nu e împotriva oricărui fel de interpretare. Putem citi în multe feluri, nu toate ne sînt interzise (și nu toate ne sînt de folos). Ea denunță doar arbitrariul interpretărilor alegorice.

Din păcate, astfel de interpretări se mai practică și astăzi în școlile de pretutindeni. Ele încep cu întrebarea ritualică: „Dar ce simbolizează X, nu cumva X nu e de fapt X, ci Y?”. Acesta este un prim pas în substituirea termenilor dintr-un text literar. În Cîntarea cîntărilor, de exemplu, exegeții pretind că păzitoarea viei, Shulamith, simbolizează Biserica, iar păstorul îl reprezintă pe Iisus Christos. Înțelesul acestui poem erotic (amețitor de frumos!) este ocultat în favoarea unui înțeles „spiritual”, pudic și acceptabil pentru toți. În opinia lui Susan Sontag, o astfel de lectură constituie o „agresiune” și arată un „dispreț neascuns față de aparența”, evidența textului.

Un pasaj: „Există situații în care, dintr-un motiv sau altul, un text a devenit inacceptabil; dar el nu poate fi respins. Interpretarea [alegorică] este o strategie radicală pentru a păstra un text vechi, considerat prea prețios pentru a fi repudiat, prin renovarea lui. Fără a șterge sau rescrie textul, interpretul îl alterează. Însă el nu poate admite acest fapt. Pretinde că îl face doar inteligibil, dezvăluindu-i adevăratul sens. Oricît de mult alterează interpreții textul (un exemplu cunoscut îl constituie interpretările rabinice și creștine ale Cîntării cîntărilor, un text explicit erotic), ei trebuie să pretindă că citesc un sens deja existent” (p.16).

Și încă unul: „Opera lui Kafka a fost supusă unui adevărat viol în masă de către nu mai puțin de trei armate de interpreți. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept o alegorie socială văd studii de caz ale frustrărilor și absurdității nebunești ale birocrației moderne și ale manifestării ei ultime în statul totalitar. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept o alegorie psihanalitică văd dezvăluiri disperate ale spaimei în fața tatălui, anxietăți de castrare, sentimentul propriei neputințe, starea sa de sclav al propriilor vise. Cei care-l citesc pe Kafka drept alegorie religioasă arată cum K. din Castelul încearcă să obțină accesul în ceruri, cum Joseph K. din Procesul este judecat de tainica și inexorabila dreptate a lui Dumnezeu...” (pp.18-19, ambele citate sînt din eseul „Împotriva interpretării”, ediția din 2000 de la Univers).
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews926 followers
February 2, 2022
“To interpret is to impoverish, to deplete the world—in order to set up a shadow world of “meanings.”

Winged Ink: Reading Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation and Other Essays offers an intellectual back and forth on how to approach art and ends up showing us, above all else, a mind at work. That was really the most fun part of this. In the opening essay, Sontag argues that interpretation is an act that replaces the meaning of art, be it writing, theater, film or painting. I like the point Sontag makes, and understand that any interpretation or review we read colors how we come to a work of art, but I don't see this as something that necessarily limits our experience. In fact, Sontag's other essays in this collection add new dimensions to how I will experience writers such as Marcel Proust, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre among others.

“A work of art encountered as a work of art is an experience, not a statement or an answer to a question. Art is not only about something; it is something. A work of art is a thing _in_ the world, not just a text or commentary _on_ the world.”
Profile Image for Zanna.
676 reviews967 followers
August 7, 2015
None of us can ever retrieve that innocence before all theory when art knew no need to justify itself, when one did not ask of a work of art what it said because one knew what it did. From now to the end of consciousness, we are stuck with the task of defending art.
I ended up finding 'Against Interpretation' useful. Its central claim is that there is a kind of interpretation that is anti-art in that it diminishes the possibilities for appreciating/enjoying/experiencing the art rather than increasing them, which is what criticism (I would still say interpretation*) should (probably) do. I have no longer any anxiety on behalf of the author, but I still generally dislike the kind of interpretation that Sontag seems to be talking about; the kind that says one thing is another in a text and tyrannically insists on this translation. She argues that even if the interpretation that A Streetcar Named Desire is about the decline of Western civilization rather than this encounter between two interesting characters is 'correct' in the sense of being intended and implicit, this is precisely what is weak and 'contrived' about it. In my review of To the Lighthouse I felt the need to criticise both of the introductions, which I suppose is me fighting on behalf of the text or of my experience of the text. I evidently feel that something I want to remain open is being closed down when a psychoanalytic interpretation (for instance) is advanced.

However, I am eager to read interpretation and criticism - this is definitely part of my pleasure in the text (Sontag ends by saying 'we need an erotics of art rather than a hermeneutics'), not only a way to get more pleasure out of it. Considering Zadie Smith's introduction to Their Eyes were Watching God I can think of the text as a mountain, which has a nice easy path over it, and Smith's introduction as a kit which contains a map to find the hidden caves and a torch to illuminate their beautiful interiors. So Smith helps me to get more out of reading Hurston, but her intro is art in itself (it is aesthetic; Sontag says the aesthetic is 'that which needs no justification'). I'd say criticism/interpretation helps me rather than hinders/irritates me more than half of the time... I don't think the value of the critic is so low

(((*I am very keen on the word 'interpretation'. The specific meaning it has in museums (phenomenology!) for me from my background (my mum is a heritage educator and I volunteered with her often for many years) is probably a reason for this; when I go to an exhibition I talk about the interpretation - the British Museum have a very high standard of interpretation; if you visited the Ice Age Art exhibition you will remember how much interpretation there was, and how much was needed, to enable such a coherent, pungent (can I say that? I could smell blood and salt in that exhibition...) experience out of a small collection of tiny objects which, the interpretation text repeatedly admitted, WE LACK THE ABILITY TO DECODE in terms of what they 'really' meant to the people who made and used them. Conversely, in many museums stuff is heaped up in glass cases with labels like 'brass, c.1500'. Unless an object has overwhelming aesthetic qualities, creative interpretation by people with learning and passion is a necessary bridge for most of us to experience more than a sort of obligatory, intimidated STUDIUM in its presence. Some people find the British Museum's approach overbearing, but I disagree; I think it's ableist and elitist and ethnocentric to insist that the objects should 'speak for themselves'. For most of us, they will remain silent.)))

((I now have a better way to describe my resistance to The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Sontag describes Thomas Mann (who I haven't read) hilariously as 'overcooperative' in that he inserts intimations of the correct interpretation into his texts. This is exactly what Kundera does that I dislike!))

The second essay ‘On Style’ is about the false dichotomy of form and content, and her prescription to critics to think more about the former, because our idea of content, especially as something hidden inside form or style is a hindrance. It makes us think of an art work as a statement somehow packaged. Sontag tries to explain why there is no distinction between ethics and aesthetics, but somehow I can’t get a handle on her treatment of this. Later on in another essay ‘One culture and the new sensibility’ she says most artists have abandoned the ‘Matthew Arnold idea of culture', which is ‘art as the criticism of life… understood as the propounding of moral, social and political ideas’. In Status Anxiety Alain de Botton explains the view that Arnold sets out in Culture and Anarchy like this: “art as a protest against the state of things, an effort to correct our insights or to educate us to perceive beauty, to help us understand pain or to reignite our sensitivities, to nurture our capacity for empathy or to rebalance our moral perspective.” I’m not sure who is making mush here, because Sontag argues in ‘On Style’ that art can teach us to be more ethical because the mode of being needed to contemplate art is a useful rehearsal for the mode required for ethical behaviour, which is just a ‘form of acting’ or ‘code of acts’, and goes on to say in many of these essays that art 'educates the feelings', 'nourishes' us, 'sends us out refreshed'. This seems close to de Botton’s notes on Arnold, to me at least. It suggests the difference is of degree and there is a sort of continuum between socialist realism at one end and Oscar Wilde at the other, but Sontag seems to be aiming for a more radical reassessment. I’m troubled by Sontag’s rejection of art-as-argument, as I’m not satisfied with her account of morality. It remains my obsession to see the political and ethical in everything. If someone can write that ‘being a feminist is passe’ then I can’t trust her.

I enjoyed her comments on the ‘arbitrary and unjustifiable’ in works of art. She argues that what is inevitable in a work of art is its style, an expression of the author’s will. Her main purpose in 'On Style' is, I think, to advise critics to find form in content rather than the converse. The rest of the book is mainly criticism of theatre, film and other works in which she apparently tests her own medicine. It sounds good, if you don’t mind being told flatly and frequently that some work is brilliant or vile… I have seen/read little of the material she reviews; I’m unhappy with her negative critique of an exception to that: James Baldwin, and I was unable to get through some of the literature she recommends that I sought out! However, her ‘Notes on “Camp”’ is rightly famous I think; it shows great sensitivity and acuity that she can delineate it so gracefully.

Writing in the sixties, she found nothing going on in literature. The novel is dead, she would have agreed. Innovations in form were the leading edge, and literature lagged. I wonder if she would say that now.

Despite reservations, I feel a sharp, refreshing breeze blowing on my face; Sontag opened a window.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
September 1, 2017
Against Interpretation and Other Essays, Susan Sontag
Against Interpretation is a collection of essays by Susan Sontag published in 1966. It includes some of Sontag's best-known works, including "On Style," and the eponymous essay "Against Interpretation." In the last, Sontag argues that in the new approach to aesthetics the spiritual importance of art is being replaced by the emphasis on the intellect. Rather than recognizing great creative works as possible sources of energy, she argues, contemporary critics were all too often taking art's transcendental power for granted, and focusing instead on their own intellectually constructed abstractions like "form" and "content." In effect, she wrote, interpretation had become "the intellect's revenge upon art." The essay famously finishes with the words, "in place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art". The book was a finalist for the Arts and Letters category of the National Book Award.
Contents: Against interpretation; On style; The artist as exemplary sufferer; Simone Weil
Camus' Notebooks; Michel Leiris' Manhood; The anthropologist as hero; The literary criticism of Georg Lukacs; Sartre's Saint Genet; Nathalie Sarraute and the novel; Ionesco; Reflections on The Deputy; The death of tragedy; Going to theater, etc.; Marat/Sade/Artaud; Spiritual style in the films of Robert Bresson; Godard's Vivre Sa Vie; The imagination of disaster; Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures; Resnais' Muriel; A note on novels and films; Piety without content; Psychoanalysis and Norman Brown's Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytic Meaning of History; Happenings: an art of radical juxtaposition; Notes on "Camp"; One culture and the new sensibility; Afterword: Thirty Years Later.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم ماه نوامبر سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: عليه تفسير؛ نویسنده: سوزان سانتاگ؛ مترجم: مجید اخگر؛ تهران، بیدگل، 1394، در 435 ص؛ شابک: 9786005193886؛ موضوع: تاریخ و نقد ادبیات جدید قرن 20 م
عليه تفسير، مجموعه ای از نقدها و تحلیلهایی ست که سانتاگ در فاصله سالهای 1962 تا 1965 میلادی نگاشته است. مقالات به نقد و بررسی کتاب‌ها، رساله‌ ها و بيانيه‌ های نويسندگان و فيلسوفان مشهوری چون: ژان پل سارتر، آلبر کامو، آنتونن آرتو (مبدع تئاتر خشونت)، پيتر وايس، اوژن يونسکو، گئورگ لوکاچ، چزاره پاوزه، ناتالی ساروت و... است. همچنين برخی مقالات کتاب نيز به نقد و بررسی آثار فيلمسازانی همچون: روبر برسون، و ژان لوک گدار ــ سينماگران برجسته فرانسوی ــ اختصاص دارد. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for E. G..
1,112 reviews685 followers
April 21, 2018
A note and some acknowledgments

--Against interpretation
--On style

--The artist as exemplary sufferer
--Simone Weil
--Camus' Notebooks
--Michel Leiris' Manhood
--The anthropologist as hero
--The literary criticism of Georg Lukács
--Sartre's Saint Genet
--Nathalie Sarraute and the novel

--Reflections on The Deputy
--The death of tragedy
--Going to theater, etc.
--Marat / Sade / Artaud

--Spiritual style in the films of Robert Bresson
--Godard's Vivre Sa Vie
--The imagination of disaster
--Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures
--Resnais' Muriel
--A note on novels and films

--Piety without content
--Psychoanalysis and Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death
--Happenings: an art of radical juxtaposition
--Notes on "Camp"
--One culture and the new sensibility

Afterword: Thirty Years Later
Profile Image for Prerna.
222 reviews1,426 followers
July 1, 2021
In the first volume of her journal Reborn, Susan Sontag wrote that to interpret is to determine, to restrict; or to exfoliate, read meaning into. Perhaps she was deliberate in her focus on form, in her evasions of definitions within this collection of disparate essays that range from critiques of philosophy, art, movies to blatant sixties style fangirling. Perhaps it was her own refusal to be restricted, to be read into, that she transmuted into a writing that has a clear, traceable form and yet is inscrutable. There isn't a unifying theme to these essays, instead it's the contours of the form (that Sontag herself believed was of more merit in art theory than interpretation) that takes the centre stage.

You're not sure what the extensive notes on camp or the barely four-pages long essay on Simone Weil are actually supposed to mean. At least I wasn't. Instead, what resonates here is Sontag's hallmark confidence, and you're convinced that she absolutely believed in everything she wrote, everything she said. And this remarkable confidence helped me read on even when certain parts of this book got surprisingly boring.

Sontag also firmly believed that morality informs experience and that's very evident in her criticisms. She approaches each topic with a predetermined notion of style and form, almost as if the style itself selects the topics she wants to write on. But that would be a wrong interpretation. Her style of writing is so firm, so intelligent that everything else seems secondary.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
464 reviews604 followers
December 13, 2019
What a work of art does is to make us see or comprehend something singular, not judge or generalize.

To bask in intelligent discourse of literature, fine arts, and theatre, is to turn to Susan Sontag's Against Interpretations, where the cultured world is viewed aesthetically. Serious conversations elude the personal, criticism becomes communion with art, wherein the reader is almost an after-thought because the dialogue is the writer, the intellectual musing, and the subject. The prose pulsates with controlled meandering and gets to the heart of a matter that a regular observer hasn't considered.

Even if you didn't know that Sontag owned a 15,000-book personal library or that she attended numerous events and 'happenings' that made her a literary celebrity, you sense this through the exploration and confidence on the page. She was determined to exist outside of academic circles (although her writing has a pedagogical slant), outside of mainstream journalism; a "pugnacious aesthete" and "moralist," she saw herself as a "newly minted warrior in a very old battle."

There is also the thought that one wouldn't have wanted to be the writer, film director, or creator who ended up on the other end of her criticism, for her opinions slash deeply, sometimes perhaps unfairly. Her writing was deeply analytical, her thoughts sometimes ironic ("what would criticism look like that would serve the work of art, not usurp its place?"). At one point Sontag, after publishing Illness as Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors first as a few essays, revised some passages to give her words a lesser edge, and in some cases a different meaning, but also to fit her current views, her current experiences. Although very opinionated, she was known to change her mind often. So is the metamorphosis of a writer, particularly one in the public eye, one with a life-changing illness, the same one criticized for her writing after September 11.

Whether one likes the direction of her criticism or not, whether one relishes her persuasive pedantry or not, it's clear that the essays in this collection are singular in style and uniquely relevant to time, place and culture: "the world in which these essays were written no longer exists." My favorites were "On Style," and "Camus' Notebooks."
Profile Image for Glenn Sumi.
404 reviews1,587 followers
April 3, 2022
Like most collections (of essays or stories), this book – Susan Sontag’s first – is uneven. Some pieces are absolutely brilliant, making me see art and culture in a whole new way, while a few are so esoteric and dull I couldn’t wait to be done with them.

What ties them together is Sontag’s erudition, passion and enthusiasm for what she’s writing about – what she’s thinking. To borrow a line from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, Sontag’s writing shows you a mind at work.

“Before I wrote the essays I did not believe many of the ideas espoused in them,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “When I wrote them, I believed what I wrote; subsequently, I have come to disbelieve some of these same ideas again – but from a new perspective.” I appreciate her honesty.

The essays include now-famous pieces like “Notes on ‘Camp’” and “Against Interpretation” (both timeless) as well as extended meditations on the works of Claude Levi-Strauss, Simone Weil and Nathalie Sarraute. She thinks a lot about the connections between style and content. Her taste in books and films is more European than American, with long essays – you couldn’t really call them reviews – on Sartre’s book on Jean Genet, the films of Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard (alas, written before the former’s masterpieces Au Hassard Balthazar and Mouchette) and a deep dive into Alain Renais’s Muriel.

I’d seen many of the films she discussed, but am now curious to watch them again – especially Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie – with her clear and persuasive analyses in mind. It’s to Sontag’s credit that even though I hadn’t read most of the books she referred to, I was intrigued enough to read all the way through her essays on them. I doubt I’ll ever read a Sarraute novel, but I’m now curious. And I appreciate the way Sontag draws on her knowledge of all the arts – visual, music, film, theatre, opera, dance, literature – to illustrate what’s new and inventive.

In fact, that was my main takeaway from this book. I’ve heard of the “happenings” of the 60s, but Sontag takes us to a few and explains/shows what they’re attempting to do. Her round-up of plays in New York (“Going to theatre, etc.”) includes a highly critical takedown of Arthur Miller’s After The Fall, which launched the Lincoln Center Repertory Theater, as well as shrewd and often hilariously bitchy criticisms of lauded pieces involving Gielgud and Scofield. She’s most interesting on new works by Rolf Hochhuth, James Baldwin and Amiri Baraka, although her thinking and language around race seems a little dated.

She devotes an entire essay to Peter Brook’s production of Peter Weiss’s Marat/Sade, a groundbreaking work I’ve heard so much about. Her description of it makes me now feel like I’ve seen it.

I’d never heard of “The Imagination of Disaster,” her clever analysis of cheesy science-fiction movies and their political, social and cultural dimensions. It’s now one of my favourite Sontag essays. I love that she spent so much time and energy on what many critics of the time must have thought of as a crude and unsophisticated genre. She didn’t care about concepts of “high” or “low” culture.

I’ll likely reread this piece – as well as perhaps half a dozen others – again. And I’m definitely going to seek out her later collections. She must have been quite a trailblazer in the 1960s and 70s. In the current cultural landscape, I can’t think of anyone attempting to do what she did, with such boldness, style and probing intelligence.
Profile Image for Steven  Godin.
2,489 reviews2,373 followers
January 7, 2020
I loved 'On Photography', it's one of the best essays I've read. Some of her others however, I haven't thought much of. This collection of essays and criticism from the 1960s is certainly one of the better Sontag books I've read. It flatters the reader's intelligence without being intimidating. From Sophocles to Sartre, it seems that Sontag has read everything, and has the gift of getting her ideas across in reader-friendly prose, something that isn't shared by all those in the same boat as her. The title essay is an attack on the mimetic theory of art, and on the cult of interpretation that it has spawned. While On Style is a spirited attack on the division between form and content – an entirely spurious one in her view – arguing that one should be able to appreciate Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will as a masterpiece despite its Nazi propaganda. Some of the others were just as good, and Sontag being a stern critic means readers will always find plenty of things to disagree with. But the essays are unfailingly stimulating. Though they bear the stamp of their time, Sontag was remarkably prescient.
Profile Image for Meike.
1,589 reviews2,810 followers
October 1, 2021
The most famous essays contained in this volume are probably "Against Interpretation", "On Style" and "Notes on Camp", but there are other gems in here: Texts on Sartre's Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr and on William S. Burroughs, "The Pornographic Imagination" (which tackles works like Story of the Eye, The 120 Days of Sodom, and Story of O), plus, eternally relevant, "The Imagination of Disaster". The essays make you stop and ponder again and again, while your TBR pile keeps on growing.

Thinking is fun, Sontag can prove it.
Profile Image for Moshtagh ghurdarvazi.
322 reviews38 followers
June 23, 2023
تفسیر چیست؟
خانم سانتاگ هم تفسیر خودش رو از آثار معاصر و کلاسیک در این کتاب به ما نشان میده،هم نقطه مقابل تفسیر و دید خودش رو،شما با خواندن این اثر،لیست بلندی به فیلم ها و کتاب ها و مقالات و نمایشنامه های که تا کنون نخواندید اضافه خواهید کرد.
Profile Image for Mohammad Ranjbari.
229 reviews148 followers
March 26, 2020
کاربردی‌ترین مقالات در این کتاب، مقالۀ «علیه تفسیر» و «دربارۀ سبک» بود. به این علت که در این مقاله‌ها، سوزان سانتاگ، در نوشتن در مقام یک منتقد و پژوهش‌گر ظاهر شده بود. اما در مقالات دیگر، او را نویسندۀ نثرهای ژورنالیستیِ روز، با خط فکری و نظرِ بسیار شخصی می‌بینیم. شخصی به این دلیل که از هیچ منبع و استنادی استفاده نکرده و ارجاعت او هم صرفاً نقل‌قول‌های غیرمستقیم است. برخلاف تبلیغاتی که در فضای کتاب کشور در مورد این کتاب شده است، نمی‌توان آن را بطور کامل اثری مربوط به ادبیات و هنر دانست. باید در ذیل عنوان توضیحی در مورد حال و هوای ژورنالیسیتی کتاب نیز ارائه گردد. تمرکز عمدۀ سانتاگ بر دو مؤلفه است: فرم و ساختار و در کلیت سبک، و دیگر، سینما.
گاه تلاش وی به این معطوف می‌گردد که هر تعریفی که برای ادبیات می‌شود برای سینما هم مصداق پیدا کند و گاه برعکس. ادبیات نمودی ازسینما باشد. بسیاری از نظریاتی که سانتاگ در موردش نگران است، امروزه جزو بحث‌های کلیشه‌ایِ تاریخ گذشته محسوب می‌شود. برای نمونه بحث در اولویت و ارجحیت معنا یا سبک بر یکدیگر. البته در فضای نقد ادبی ایران، همچنان این بحث‌ها بدون پاسخ صریح و درست باقی مانده است.
من به دنبال رد یا تأیید افکار سوزان سانتاگ نیستم. اما او می‌توانست چنین طرزِ مواجهه‌ای را با ادبیات و هنر نداشته باشد. آشکارا می‌توان جزمیت‌گرایی را در اندیشه‌های او ردیابی نمود. نویسنده‌ای که در دهه‌های اوج رفتارهای ساختارگرایانه و فرمی در ادبیات، جانبِ فرم و ساختار را می‌گیرد، در بررسی‌های بعد از زمان خود متهمِ به‌جا یا نابجای یکسویه اندیشی خواهد شد. «کل به مثابۀ ساختار» توصیفی‌ست که بر ادبیات اعمال می‌کنند. ساختارِ یک اثر ادبی، برخلاف علومِ محض و تجربیِ دیگر، نمی‌تواند از کالبدشکافی و تجزیۀ عناصر جانِ سالم به در ببرد. «هارمونیک» صفت بارزِ موسیقی‌ست. و تنها به این دلیل است که امروزه برای ایده‌آل شدن ادبیات، موسیقی را مثال می‌زنند. همۀ هنرها میل به موسیقی دارند. هنری که نمی‌توان آن را تجزیه و منفک کرد. چون همین تناسب و هارمونیک بودن، جزو ماهیت آن محسوب می‌گردد. {اگر درست به یاد داشته باشم، آیزایا برلین این شباهت را بیان نموده است ؟!} در بحث‌های ساختارشکنانه نیز باید این حقیقت را در نظر گرفت که با ادبیات به منزلۀ یک چیز تجربه‌پذیر رفتار نمودن و تجزیه و کالبدشکافی آن، به معنای نابودی ادبیات و یا در خوش‌بینانه‌ترین حالت یکسویه‌نگری است. همین غفلت از حقیقت باعث شد که ساختارگرایی تبدیل به جریانِ «فرمالیسم» در نظر دیگران شود.
سوزان سانتاگ، آنجا که در مورد ادبیات و ساختارگرایی داد سخن می‌دهد، کاملاً برازنده با سبک ژورنالیستی می‌نویسد. نظریات او در این کتاب به درد پژوهش نخواهد خورد. اما در مورد سینما حالت فراز و فرودی در قلم او ایجاد شده است. در یک معنا او از نقد فیلم و نمایش‌نامه و سینما فراتر رفته است. زیرا هم علت‌یابی می‌کند و هم تفسیر ورمزگشایی و نقد و در نهایت پیشنهاد. ولی از سوی دیگر بر اساس ذوق شخصی در بسیاری از فیلم‌ها دخالت و یا اظهار نظر قطعی می‌کند. چنین نگاهی نیز می‌تواند غیرمتناسب باشد. اصولاً سانتاگ می‌توانست نگاه زیبایی‌شناسانه به سینما داشته باشد تا با نوع نگاه وی به ادبیات نیز هماهنگی پیدا کند. منتقدِ سینما در مقام یک منتقدِ دارای سبک، نه در مقام کسی بالاتر از فیلمساز و کارگردان و ...
به هر حال، این کتاب همچنان برای اهل ادبیات و سینما جذاب خواهد بود. چون سانتاگ چندین هدف از نگارش آن را در نظر داشته و در برخی از آن‌ها موفق بوده است.
Profile Image for Alireza.
71 reviews19 followers
June 2, 2019
حقیقتا نمیدونم از کجا شروع کنم برای نوشتن درباره این کتاب فوق العاده برای همین احتمالا با نظر بی نظمی رو به رو خواهید شد که به خاطر تنبلی بنده بعد از نوشتنش هم قطعا حوصله نخواهم داشت که مرتبش کنم.
من مدت زمان نسبتا زیادی در حال مطالعه این کتاب بودم به شکلی که بین مطالعه این کتاب جلد اول دن کیشوت با یکی دوتا کتاب دیگه رو هم خوندم. بیشتر هم به خاطر این بود که دوست داشتم به مطالبی که خوندم بتونم بیشتر فکر کنم و صرفا برای من هر چ�� پروسه ی خوندن یه کت��بی طولانی میشه و براش خیلی وقت میذارم یه حس نزدیکی عجیبی به اون کتاب و نویسنده اش پیدا می کنم و الان یه ذره ناراحتم که کتاب تموم شد چون یه حس اعتیادی پیدا کردم به خوندن مطالب سوزان سانتاگ و قطعا سراغ باقی نوشته هاش خواهم رفت.
و می تونم بگم که این کتاب باعث ایجاد تغییرات زیادی روی دیدگاهم نسبت به هنر شد و قطعا اون آدم قبلی با اون زاویه نگاه قبل نیستم و حتی فهمیدم یا قانع شدم چه قدر در اشتباه بودم.
همینطور توی این کتاب ارجاعات فراوانی وجود داره که جستجو و پیدا کردن این مطالب و فیلم ها خودش جذابیت کاملا جداگانه ای از کتاب برای من داشت و فکر می کنم یکی از خوبی های این کتاب دقیقا همین مسئله است ولی خب تعداد قابل توجه ای از کتاب هایی که خانم سانتاگ توی این کتاب بهش اشاره می کنه ترجمه نشدن متاسفانه.
اگر به سراغ این کتاب برید احتمالا به تعدادی اسی برخورد می کنید که شاید به نظرتون بی ربط بیاد و فکر کنید خوندشون خیلی فایده ای نخواهد داشت، البته شاید واقعا هم همینطور باشه اما برای من شیوه ی نوشتن و نوع نگاه سانتاگ به خودی خود به شدت جذاب بود البته قطعا کتابی هست که نمی تونم بگم کاملا فهمیدمش و بارها بهش بعد از دیدن و خوندن ارجاعاتش باز خواهم گشت و دوباره مطالعه اش می کنم.
در کل کتابی هست که دست گرفتنش، خوندنش و زیر جمله هاش کشیدن و همینطور باز تکرار می کنم مراجعه به ارجاعات کتاب به شدت جذابه. مثلا من خودم مستند شب و مه آلن رنه رو بعد از خوندن اسمش توی این کتاب دیدم و به شدت لذت بردم همینطور باعث شد که بخوام دوباره فیلم هیروشیما عشق من به همراه دو تا فیلم دیگه از همین کارگردان رو با نگاه نسبتا جدید و شاید دقیق تری ببینم به همراه خیلی از فیلم ها و کتاب های دیگه.
فکر کنم خیلی هم بی نظم نشد.
Profile Image for Salma.
400 reviews1,117 followers
September 28, 2015
تحديث: إضافة القراءة الطويلة من عام2010
مع سوزان ضد التأويل! ه

كتاب "ضد التأويل و مقالات أخرى" عبارة عن مقالات نقدية في الأدب و المسرح و الأفلام و الفن، كتبتها سوزان سونتاغ في الستينيات من القرن الماضي... و هو من كتب الكلاسيكيات الحديثة. و لا غرابة أن يعتبر كذلك، إذ أن تحليلات سوزان العميقة و عباراتها النقدية الحادة و المباشرة و الواثقة تنم عن ذكاء حاد و تبصر عال... كثير من الجمل أذهلتني و كأنها قرأت ما في دماغي من أفكار لم أصرح بها يوما، و كثير منها علمتني، و كثير منها لم تعجبني، و كثير رابعة لم أفهمها ... هذا الكتاب من نوعية الكتب التي تحرضك و تجعلك ترى جمله حولك، و تقحمه في أحاديثك، و تكاد تقتبس كل فقراته... فضلا عن كونه مرجعا لكثير من الأدباء و المخرجين و المسرحيين الذين يود المرء لو يطلع على أعمالهم، و يحتاج لعمر آخر فوق عمره حتى يحيط بهم... ه
و لأنه من غير المعقول ذكر كل ما جذبني من الكتاب، سأكتفي ببعض الملاحظات: ه

- ما شجعني لشراء الكتاب _رغم أني لم أكن أملك معلومات عنه و لا عن مؤلفته_ هو كلمتي "ضد التأويل" حين وقعت عيني عليهما، في يوم كان ذهني مستغرقا بنقاش مطول حول التأويل، فكادت دراجة تصدمني و أنا أركض نحو المكتبة، و ازددت ذهولا برؤية الكتاب... مما جعل البائع يكرر على مسامعي الثمن أكثر من مرة، ثم ينادي عليّ بعد أن مشيت مشتتة لأسترد بقية نقودي... حقيقة كان يوما متلبكا... أو بالأحرى أنا التي كنت متلبكة يومها... فقط يومها، لأن عدم التلبك كما تعلمون هو أمر معهود عني دائما و أبدا... ه
دعوني أخبركم أن التأويل شيء مجنون، و لا أدل على ذلك من كلمة نيتشة (لا وجود لحقائق بل لتأويلات فقط) و التي وافقته عليها سوزان و التي أرفضها و أحاول جاهدة ألا أقع فيها بل و أنافح ضدها ... فالعقل هذه الآلة الرهيبة، قادرة على سفسطة أي شيء و تأويله و جعل النقيض يعني نقيضه، و النص ينسف و يحطم نفسه بنفسه... لا أنكر أن الأمر مسل و ممتع و يشعرك بنشوة القوة و الشر و اللامنطقية المسكرة... و لكنه غير سوي، و إضلال، رغم لذته...ه
ربما ما كنت لأتوقف عند الأمر _لأنه مغوٍ كما قلت_ لولا أني معنية بالقرآن الكريم، و معنية بأن تحافظ الكلمات على المعنى الذي أراده المشرّع من الكلمات التي اختارها تحديدا... لأن القدرة على التأويل بدون ضبط تعني التغيير إلى ما لانهاية في النص... و بالتالي لا يقرأ المرء أو يفهم من النص إلا ما يريد قراءته أو فهمه... فيأتي للنص بتصور مسبق... فلا يرى النص و لا يريد أن يراه و ربما لا يستطيع أن يراه... و إنما يرى ما في ذهنه و ما يرغب بإيصاله... فيأتي بالعجب العجاب... و بالتالي يفسد و يحرف كل شيء... و هذا ما فعله الكثيرون قديما و حديثا... لأنها المناورة التي تجعلهم يستخدمون النص على هواهم... ينكرون و يغيرون ما لا يعجبهم من دون التصريح بانكاره و تغييره...ه
تقول سوزان كلاما جميلا: "يفترض التأويل تفاوتا بين المعنى الواضح للنص و متطلبات القراء (��للاحقين). إنه يسعى إلى إلغاء التفاوت فقد أصبح النص، لسبب ما، غير مقبول؛ و لكن لا يمكن إهماله. و التأويل خطة جذرية للاحتفاظ بنص قديم من خلال ترقيعه، إذ يعتقد أنه مهم لدرجة لا يجوز طرحها جانبا. و المفسر لا يفعل سوى تعديل أو تبديل في النص من دون محوه أو إعادة كتابته، و لكنه يعجز عن الإقرار بذلك، فيزعم أنه يوضحه فقط بأن يميط اللثام عن معناه الحقيقي."ص19
و لذلك استوقفني الكتاب، حين صرخ لي مقدما نفسه أمامي بكونه مضادا للتأويل... بيد أنه اتضح لي فيما بعد، أن سوزان تقصد بمقالتها شيئا واحد محددا، و هو مضاداتها لتأويل الفن، بسبب الشعور بضرورة التبرير الدائم له... هذا التبرير الخامل المستفز... "التأويل هو انتقام الفكر من الفن (...) يعتبر التأويل رفضا تقليديا لترك العمل الفني و شأنه."ص21
و كانت صدفة سعيدة تلك التي جمعتني بالكتاب، و فتحت أمامي بابا من الأفكار اللامألوفة...ه

- من أكثر المقالات التي أحببتها مقالتين، أولاهما (الفنان بوصفه نموذجا للإنسان المعذب)... تتحدث فيها عن يوميات بافيزي، و هو شاعر إيطالي أنهى حياته منتحرا. تقول في معرض حديثها المشوق عن يومياته: ه
"فبافيزي الذي استعمل صيغة "أنا" بكثرة في رواياته، عادة ما يتحدث عن نفسه بصيغة "أنت" في يومياته. هو لا يصف نفسه إنما يخاطبها. إنه المشاهد الساخر، الواعظ، اللائم لنفسه، و يبدو أن النتيجة النهائية لمثل هذه النظرة المتوقعة للذات كانت الانتحار لا محالة"ص70
لا أخفيكم أني أحب قراءة هذا النوع من الخطاب مع الذات، بل إني نفسي كثيرا ما أمارسه... و لكن هل فعلا النتيجة هي "الانتحار لا محالة"؟
العبارة بدت لي مرعبة و موسوسة،و لبثت أفكر بها محاولة الخروج من حصارها... حتى وجدت منفذا و استطعت التغلب عليها...ه
فعبارة سوزان فيها تبصر و لكنها ليست حتمية... أحسب هناك ربط بين فكرة الانتحار و التفكير بهذه الطريقة... فمن ينشطرون مع ذواتهم قد تعرض لهم فكرة الانتحار... لأنها الوسيلة التي تتبدى لهم في التخلص من إياهم، ذاك الطرف الآخر من إياهم الذي يقض مضجعم و يثقلهم و يخنقهم... ذوي الأنفس المتضخمة، تشغلهم بحيث يدورون حولها محبة و سخطا، شتيمة و مدحا... شيء أشبه بدوامات المياه، كلما حاولت الابتعاد و التلهي عنها شدتك لقاعها... و لذلك تجدهم دائمي التبرم من أنفسهم... و يودون لو يخرجوا منها... هذا على مستوى الأفكار... لكن التنفيذ أمر آخر... لأن هنا يقف حاجز المعتقد... فإن كان الشخص مؤمنا بأن الانتحار خطيئة، فلن يقدم على الأمر... لأن المبدأ أقوى إن كان مريدا له أن يكون الأقوى... أعني الشخص المنشطر مع ذاته ليس مجنونا و لا مريضا... ما يجعله مريضا هو فقدانه للسيطرة أو القدرة على التمييز... و لكن طالما أنه واع و يستطيع التفريق و التحكم بكل شخصياته حتى أكثرها تمردا و سوداوية... فإنه ما زال عاقلا و يستطيع الخيار و مجاهدة شهوة الانعتاق من أناه إن شاء...ه

- المقالة الثانية التي أود لو أقتبسها كلها عن "سيمون فايل" _و هي مفكرة فرنسية_ ذكرت سوزان فيها تحليلا حاذقا جدا جدا، أذهلني من شدة دقته. و هو أمر لطالما فكرت به. تحدثت عن سبب انتشار الإعجاب بنوعية من الكتاب مثل كافكا و نيتشة الخ. فالقارئ ينجذب إليهم ليس بسبب الاقتناع بأفكارهم و الإيمان بها، و إنما لأجل أن يعيش معهم تجربة هذه الحياة الغريبة التي ليست هي حياته... ه
"يمنحنا كلايست المتعة ، فيما تبعث معظم أعمال غوتة في نفوسنا الملل. على هذا النحو، لبعض الأدباء على غرار كيركغارد، و نيتشة، و دوستويفسكي، و كافكا، و بودلير، و رامبو، و جينيه _و كذلك سيمون فايل_ سلطة عليا علينا بسبب ملامح الاعتلال التي يتميزون بها تحديدا، فاعتلالهم هو تعقلهم، و هو ما يعزز مقدرتهم على الاقناع. (...) فمعظم المعجيبن الحديثين بهم لم يقدروا أن يعتنقوا أفكارهم، و هم لا يعتنقونها. إننا نقرأ أدباء يتميزون بمثل هذه الأصالة المقذعة لأجل سلطتهم الشخصية، أو لنموذج رصانتهم، أو لإرادتهم الجلية بالتضحية بأنفسهم من أجل حقائقهم، و لأجل "آرائه"، لكن فقط إربا إربا. (...) هكذا يعرب القارئ المعاصر المرهف الإحساس عن إجلاله لمستوى من الحقيقة الروحانية لا يخصه و لا يمكن أن يخصه. بعض الحيوات نموذجي، و بعضها ليس كذلك. و من أصل الحيوات النموذجية تلك التي تدعونا لمحاكاتها، و تلك التي ننظر إليها عن مسافة بمزيج من النفور و الشفقة و الإجلال." ص78-79
يعني بمعنى آخر أكثر فجاجة أن الذين يكتبون عن صراعاتهم مع وجودهم إنما هم جواكر و بهاليل للطبيعيين... كالتسلي بعروض المسوخ... شيء بعيد عني و لست أنا إياه... و لكن هذا المشوه مسل و ظريف بتشوهه...ه
و الكاتب _هذا المسخ المعذب_ يشعر بالغبطة لوجود من هو مهتم بتشوهه.... من أحب لاطبيعيته و جنونه... فيدفعه هذا للتفنن بعروضه...ه
و الكتابة نعمة حقيقة، لأنها الشيء الجميل الذي يجعل الآخرين يتقبلون غرابة هؤلاء... بل حتى يرغبوا بتقليدها و يصيروا غريبين كإياهم... و هي المنفذ الذي يجعلك تحول خصلك المضحكة و المحرجة و الساذجة و المجنونة إلى شيء جميل و لذيذ و محبب... مع أنه لو افترضنا شخصا غريبا و من دون كلمات، فإنه سيكون مثارا للتندر و الضحك، حتى بسبب أفعال و تصرفات قد اشتهى الناس تقليدها في مكان آخر حين قرأوها... بل الكاتب نفسه الذي كالوا له المديح كم كان سيبدو غبيا و أخرقا و مذموما في أعينهم من دون درع الكلمات...ه
ألا فليبارك الإله في الكلمات التي تجعل للغرباء مكانا في هذا العالم! ه
ألا فليبارك الإله في الكلمات التي تحمينا! ه
ألا فليبارك الإله في الكلمات التي تجمـّل حدبتنا في أعين الناس! ه
ألا فليدم الإله الكلما�� علي و لا ينتزعها مني أبدا! ه

- لفت نظري في كتابتها هو أسلوبها و كأنها خارجية... و كأنها ترقب الجميع و تتأملهم دون أن يطالها شيء منهم، و كأنها بعيدة عن كل المواضيع... و كأنها منيعة... تفهم أمراض المجتمع و تشخصها بدقة...ه
مثلا "تتصارع معظم الأفكار الرصينة في عصرنا مع الإحساس بالتشرد؛ فعدم موثوقية التجربة البشرية التي جاء بها التسارع اللاإنساني للتغيير التاريخي أدى إلى إصابة كل عقل حديث مرهف بنوع من الغثيان و الدوار الفكري. و يبدو أن السبيل الوحيد للشفاء من هذا الغثيان الروحي يقوم على مفاقمته، على الأقل في البداية." ص103
تفهم صراعات الذات و تراها بوضوح، مع ��نك لا تشعر بها قد كابدتها:ه
"و وعي الذات هو (الجاذبية) التي تثقل الروح، و تجاوز وعي الذات هو (النعمة) أو الخفة الروحية."ص277
و من النادر أن تصادف شخصا خارجيا قادرا على فهم ذاك العالم بهذا العمق دون أن ينخرط فيه...ه
"لا شك عندي مثلا بأن النظرة العاقلة إلى الكون هي الصحيحة. و لكن هل الحقيقة هي المطلوب دائما؟ ليست الحاجة إلى الحقيقة ثابتة، و كذلك الحاجة إلى الراحة، فالفكرة التي تكون ملتوية قد تحدث وقعا فكريا أعظم من الحقيقة، و لعلها تخدم بصورة فضلى حاجات الذهن التي تتنوع. الحقيقة توازن، و لكن نقيض الحقيقة، أي اللاتوازن، قد لا يكون كذبة." ص79
اللهم إلا في مقالة واحدة شعرت بها صارت جزءا من موضوعها... في خواطرها حول مسرحية الوكيل التي تتحدث عن محاكمة ضابط نازي كان له دور بارز في اعتقال اليهود و ابادتهم في الحرب العالمية الثانية... فمن الواضح أن الموضوع يعنيها بشكل مباشر... و لذلك شعرت بها تتحدث من الداخل، و ليس من الخارج كعادتها... قد انخرطت في موضوعها و باتت جزءا منه...ه

- تقول عن الملل: ه
"و لكن ماذا عن الملل؟ هل يمكن تبريره؟ أظن أن ذلك ممكن أحيانا (هل من واجب الفن الرفيع أن يكون شائقا باستمرار؟ لا أظن). لا بد لنا من الاعتراف ببعض الاستعمالات للملل بصفته أكثر السمات الأسلوبية إبداعا في الأدب الحديث." ص102
أعجبني كلامها اللااعتيادي... قد استطاعت عبره أن تهشم مسلمة متوهمة قد زرعتها البيئة... ألا و هي ضرورة عنصر التشويق...ه
إذ كثيرا ما أكتب أشياء مملة... أشعر و أعلم بأنها مملة، و لكنها مبررة... فالفكرة بجفافها و صلافتها لا يمكن إلا أن تكون كذلك... و لطالما كان البحث عن التشويق أكثر عائق لي عن الكتابة... أعني كيف أفتعل أمرا زائدا عما أريده، عما أشعر أنه الأنسب للتعبير، عما أنا عليه، عما تقتضيه الفكرة، لأجل التشويق... فقط لأنه زُرع في رؤوسنا ضرورة التشويق...ه
كلامها هذا لعب برأسي... جدا... ه

- "في هذه الدنيا أمور كثيرة لم تسم، و أمور كثيرة حتى لو سميت، لم توصف أبدا، و أحدها هو تلك الحساسية _الحديثة، دون جدال، و أحد أشكال الذوق الرفيع إنما بالكاد المتطابق معه_ التي تسمى باسم نحلة (التكلف)"ه
هكذا تبتدئ مطلع مقالها "ملاحظات حول ظاهرة التكلف" و هو من أشهر مقالاتها، و قد كان لها اليد الطولى في إشاعة استعمال هذه الكلمة، إذ هي أول من كتب مقالا مطولا عنه تصف ملامح هذا الأسلوب. و أسلوب التكلف
(Camp Style)
يعرف أنه حس جمالي يستمد جاذبيته من ذوقه الرديء أو دلالته الساخرة. تقول سوزان "إنني أشعر بانجذاب شديد إلى التكلف بقدر ما تغيظني هذه الظاهرة بشدة، و لهذا السبب أريد الحديث عنها." ص394
"التكلف نمط جمالي معين (...) لا يتعلق بالجمال بل بدرجة التصنع و الأسلبة"ص395
"التكلف يفضح البراءة، و لكنه كذلك يفسدها متى تسنى له ذلك" ص405
"التكلف هو مذيب للأخلاق. إنه يقوم بتحييد الاستنكار الأخلاقي، و يرعى المرح و العبث." ص416
"غير أن الذوق المتكلف، و لئن كان المثليون طليعته، هو أكثر من مجرد ذوق مثلي." ص416
"القول المتكلف المطلق مفاده: هذا جيد لأنه مريع" ص418

و أنا ممتنة أني تعلمت المصطلح، إذ جزء من القبض على الشيء و كسر حدته و وحشته، هو تقييده بكلمة...ه
و هذا الأسلوب المتصنع لطالما أثار في نفسي الاشمئزاز و الرعب، دون أن أعلم أن له اسما و خصائصا... لكني الآن أشعر بالقوة و أني انتصرت عليه، لأن المجهول صار معلوما، و لن يعود مخيفا... بت أستطيع تسمية ذاك الأنموذج الذي يخدشني و يقرفني بابتذاله و شذوذه، بت أستطيع وسمه، بت أستطيع القبض عليه أينما شاهدته... إنه التكلف...ه
و شخصيا لا أجد اي جمال أو جذب في تشوهه... إنه المرض... المرض وحده من ينتج شيئا مثيرا للغثيان كهذا... إذ أن الطبيعية حين تكون منافقة و كاذبة، يتطرف الأفراد في تمايزهم و رفضهم لها كنوع من رد الفعل...ه
إنما هو رد فعل شاذ على مجتمع رديء... و السقم لا يولد إلا سقما...ه
كمثال عليه معاصر أسلوب
Lady Gaga

و ما زال في جعبتي الكثير عن الكتاب... فقد فتح لي أفقا و أراني أبعادا أخرى و ملأ دماغي...ه
و لا تستطيع إلا أن تقر و أنت تقرأ الكتاب بأن سوزان كاتبة متفردة و قوية و ذكية جدا*، بغض النظر إن وافقتها أم لا...ه
تقول عن مقالاتها هذه بعد ثلاثين عاما: "رأيت نفسي مثل محارب اخترع حديثا لمعركة موغلة في القدم: ضد خشونة الذوق، و ضد الضحالة و اللامبالاة الأخلاقيتين و الجماليتين (...) بالطبع، كنت معجبة بنفسي لأنني على ما ��بدو أول من اهتم ببعض المسائل التي كتبت عنها؛ و في بعض الأحيان، لم أصدق حسن طالعي لأنها انتظرت ريثما أصفها (...) كنت محبة مشاكسة للجمال، و بالكاد واعظة غير منفتحة."ص438-439

و ربما أكثر ما تعلمته من سوزان، هو الوثوق بحسي النقدي و الجرأة في طرح فكرتي و الصرامة في نطق حكمي... ه

ملاحظة هامشية
* يذكر ابنها في مقدمة مذكراتها التي قرر نشرها بعد وفاتها، أن أمه اعتادت ذكر زوج أمها الطيب كيف كان يتوسل اليها أن لا تقرأ كثيرا، خشية أن لا تجد لها زوجا.-
العبارة جعلتني أبتسم من قلبي... فشر البلايا ما يجعلك تبتسم
ابتسامة صفراء تحمل كل المعاني إلا معنى الابتسام
كم البشر متشابهون، لا ينفكون يكررون أفكارهم و كلماتهم و نصائحهم على اختلاف أزمنتهم و أمكنتهم و خلفياتهم الثقافية!ه

2010 كانون الأول

سوزان سوزنتاغ في ثياب دب ظريف
الكلام السابق
كتاب عبارة عن مقالات نقدية لبعض الأدب و الأفلام و المسرحيات و الظواهر الفنية
حقيقة أن المؤلفة سوزان سونتاغ ذكية جدا، و تملك تبصرا عاليا
و رغم أنه صادر في الستينيات و أنه لا خلفية لي كثيرا عن معظم من تحدثت عنهم، و لكن الكتاب لم يفقد أهميته بالنسبة لي
أحسبه سيعجب جدا المهتمين بهذا المجال
Profile Image for Amirsaman.
427 reviews224 followers
August 30, 2022
ریویوی ۲۰۲۲

بزرگ‌ترین مشکل سانتاگ شاید این باشد که خودش نمی‌تواند به تز علیه تفسیر-اش وفادار باشد و در بهترین حالت، با کلماتی چون «حسانیت» اثر را وصف می‌کند و در باقی لحظات، دست به تفسیر می‌زند. کار به جایی می‌رسد که صالح نجفی در سخنرانی‌ای، مقاله‌ی اصلی کتاب را شرح می‌دهد و بعد «تفسیر»ی سیاسی از آن ارائه می‌دهد (و می‌گوید که تفسیر عملکردی ایدئولوژیک دارد).
هرچند حداقل فایده‌ی کتاب، آشنا شدن با جریان روشنفکری دهه‌ی شصت امریکا است.

ریویوی ۲۰۱۷

دو فصل اول کتاب را خواندم (تا ۷۰) و بعد دیگر اعصابش را نداشتم. شاید هم روزی بقیه‌ی کتاب را جسته‌گریخته خواندم. فکر می‌کردم به بهانه‌ی این کتاب با نقد هنر آشتی کنم، ولی خصومتم بیشتر هم شد. صحبت از عدم جدایی فرم و محتوا می‌کند خانم سانتاگ، آن هم سال ۶۲. فکر می‌کردم این مفهوم دیگر باید جاافتاده باشد، ولی هنوز حتا مدعیانی که فرم-فرم می‌کنند یک نقد درست - به این معنا - ننوشته اند. منتقدی این‌قدر باهوش نداریم که یک نکته‌ی تکنیکی را بگیرد و بگوید این به چه دلیل و برای کدام حرف این‌طور شده. این روزها که بحث فیلم‌های تجربی هم داغ شده (تمارض که دوست داشتم و هجوم که دوست نداشتم)، بیشتر یاد مقاله‌ی علیه تفسیر سوزان سانتاگ می‌افتم. می‌گوید وقتی یک مفهومی در فیلم برایمان ناجور است و آزاردهنده (مثل تانکِ سکوتِ برگمان)، برایش معناسازی و استعاره‌سازی می‌کنیم.
مشکل من با نقد هنر چیست؟ این است که حتا خود سانتاگ، خود بوردول و همگی‌شان، گزاره‌هایی برای نقد می‌دهند، که معلوم نیست از کجا آورده اند. شاید گفته شود هنر همین است، که از خودش بشود لذت برد، ولی این‌ها در مغز من پردازش نمی‌شود. من مدرک علمی می‌خواهم برای هرچیز و بحث مطلقا منطقی. در نتیجه شاید «من» آدمِ هنر (به معنای روشنفکری امروزی‌اش) اصلا نیستم. باید سرگرم کتاب‌های علمی خودم شوم.
ولی معتقدم هنر باید علمی نقد شود، و این مفهوم را ندیده ام جایی، و البته ایده‌هایی برای پرداختن بهش دارم. اصلا جوانم و خامم و آرزومند؛ شاید هم مسیر من بن‌کل در درک آن‌چه‌ هنر می‌نامند فرق می‌کند.
ولی راضی هستم از متر و معیارم در قضاوت‌های هنری‌م. و اعتماد به نفسم از متر و معیار مشخص و واضحم می‌آید، و نه بحث‌های زیبایی‌شناسانه‌ی بی‌پایه و غیرعلمی. (علم هم یعنی فیزیولوژی، و اسم علم بر نقد فیلم و غیره نگذاریم!)
«ما به جای معناشناسی به کِیف‌شناسی هنر نیازمندیم.»

«نفس مرئی شدن سبک‌های مختلف خود محصول آگاهی تاریخی است.»

«هنر اغواست، نه تجاوز.»

«لذت اخلاقی هنر، و همین‌طور خدمت اخلاقی‌ای که هنر به‌انجام می‌رساند، در ارضای هوشمندانه‌ی آگاهی ماست.»
Profile Image for Uroš Đurković.
622 reviews140 followers
July 28, 2022
Bio sam ubeđen da Suzan Zontag bolje stoji sa arogancijom nego intelektualnim gledištima, ali čitanje njenih eseja me je divno razuverilo. To, naravno, ne znači da arogancije nema, ali zato ima raskošne potkovanosti i vrlo lucidnih uvida. Kao najbolji esejisti, Zontag misli blistavo, čak i kada maši. Tako, na primer, čitav splet razmišljanja o kempu može biti shvaćen kao maltene proizvoljna intelektualna igra, ali upravo je takva igra postala nezaobilazna za promišljanje o ovoj temi. Zontag nas samim književnim pristupom vraća na izvorno značenje termina esej kao ogled, pokušaj. Odredište je, dakle, sam put, a traženje konačnih odgovora uzaludnost koja može samo da odvede na kriv trag. U skladu sa naslovnim esejom – cilj doživljaja umetničkog dela nije pronalaženje maksimalne količine sadržaja ili seckanje dela i komentarisanje odnosa između nastalih komadića, već to da se celina ne izneveri. To dovodi do zavodljivog zaključka – umesto hermeneutike, potrebna nam je erotika umetnosti. Erotika kao saučesništvo u stvaranju, nastavak kreativnog delovanja. Bez ove vrste estetskog erosa, predmet istraživačkog interesovanja bio bi sasvim irelevantan.
Takođe, osim zanosa, neophodno je i osvešćivanje značaja stila, koji za Zontag nije samo manir, već odluka u kojoj je utelovljena epistemologija – interpretacija toga kako i šta poimamo u svetu.

Imajući to u vidu, vidi se kako je sve o čemu je Zontag pisala, bilo natopljeno strašću i to prvenstveno u odnosu na frankofonu kulturu. Bilo da piše o književnosti i antropologiji (Paveze, Mišel Leris, Simon Vejl, Kami, Lukaš, Sartr, Natali Sarot, Jonesko, Levi-Stros), pozorištu (Hohut, Vajs, tragedija, hepening) ili filmu (od Bresona, preko svog omiljenog filma „Mjuriel” Alena Renea, čudovišta u japanskoj SF kinematografiji kao izrazu kolektivne traume, do i dalje ekstremnog filma „Flaming Creatures” Džeka Smia), pokazuje kako je dragoceno razumeti različite umetničke forme u prostoru međusobnog prožimanja.

Mnogo sam od Zontag naučio i imao sjajna (ne)slaganja, posebno u autobusu za Leposavić pre oko mesec dana, kada sam knjigu konačno dovršio.

Profile Image for Talie.
257 reviews35 followers
May 2, 2022
سوزان عزیز می خواهم ترکت کنم.
اشاراتت به فرم و حواس را ترک کنم.
سخنان نامفهومت را که حتی خودت هم نمی فهمیدی، ترک کنم.
علاقه ات به لذت های حسانی را ترک کنم.
تو را که همه چیز را سرد و با فاصله می دیدی، ترک کنم.
تو را ای متناقض ابدی، که دم از فرم می زدی و گوشه چشمی به محتوا هم داشتی، ترک کنم.
این آهنگ لد زپلین را به تو تقدیم می کنم:

Profile Image for Jesse.
446 reviews451 followers
July 16, 2015
Here is where I discovered my model, my ideal: I too aspire to be able to discuss and analyze so deftly literature, cinema, music, theater, philosophy, theory and society, and their countless and inevitable intersections. The celebrated "Notes on Camp" and the title essay are the standouts, but everything--even the comparatively weak theater reviews--are worth reading.

"My idea of a writer: someone who is interested in 'everything.'"

-from "Afterward: 30 Years Later"
Profile Image for Greg Brown.
320 reviews67 followers
December 11, 2013
There don't seem to be as many public intellectuals around as there used to be. Sure, there are more commentators than ever—look at the many, many bloggers out there, as well as other individuated voices carving out their own identity, even within larger publications. But the public intellectual in the middle of the 20th century seemed to comprise something different, something a bit larger in scope. These days, criticism tends to be done piecewise, either commenting or reacting incrementally on each new publication or event, or slowly embodying a larger critique through the slow, steady work of embodying it.

Sontag and other writers of her era offer a different model, one with well-polished fusillades and other attacks levied against their contemporaries. The grasp of these essays seem to be more wide-ranging, composed than today's blog posts—not just because they're more formally edited, but because by necessity they have to encompass so much more. There was the electrifying intellectual community in New York that met, discussed, and argued in person, of course. But there wasn't twitter, blogs, anything that could be used for large amounts of smaller pieces. Instead, Sontag and others worked through periodicals like the New York Review of Books, or the Partisan Review. These published maybe bi-weekly or monthly at most, meaning that they could only run so much, and that any reaction had to necessarily stand the test of time more than a snap blog-post that'll be obsolete in days.

This isn't necessarily to bemoan the current condition, only to recognize that a certain sensibility is so hard to find these days, and that you have to really seek it out compared to earlier. The New York Review of Books still exists (and continues to put out superb work), but it isn't the center of the intellectual conversation the way it used to be. They just Wrote Differently back then, in a way that's hard to articulate without reading Didion, Sontag, Wilson, and others.

This, then is to say that Sontag comes across as very refreshing—not just because she's intellectually brilliant (which she is), or that she provides a novel way of looking at art (which she does), but because she writes so damn well that it's hard not to be carried away by her conclusions because they just sound so damn good.

Sontag's larger point that "form" and "content" are often unjustly separated, and the latter elevated above the former, is laid out in the very first title essay, and expounded upon or eliptically mentioned in almost every single other essay. The effect, which would be less noticable in reading each essay individually, is to see her argument substantiated in the richness of its results. In elevating content above form (and I'll dispense with the air quotes, even though Sontag justly uses them throughout), we cut off the ways in which how a work formally functions determines its aim and effect on the audience. In a certain sense, focusing on the content reveals an impoverished vocabulary or schema for understanding a given art-form, a mistake that Sontag dearly wants to correct by foregrounding how a work... well, works!

And to her credit, Sontag's argument has seen an effect in much of the art criticism since. In film, for example, editing is now recognized as one of the (if not THE) attributes that determine the essence of a movie. In games, we see mechanics-oriented criticism on the rise, though that case is easier to make with the more explicit interaction compared to the way other art-forms will subtly shift our attention around.

While a good chunk of the book is concerned with this kind of meta-criticism, there are some more traditional criticism of specific works—valuable because they instantiate and substantiate her larger program, but still kind of floaty if you haven't experienced the works she's talking about. When she's writing to introduce a body of work to the audience, such as some of the foreign thinkers, or her entertaining essay about the "happenings," she is lively and enjotable throughout. But when she's writing an apologia for work she expects her intellectual community to already know, it can leave the average reader in the dark.

This weakness is partially a function of time (since contemporary works aren't so contemporary any more) but also of the widening intellectual pluralism that she herself champions in essays like the famous "Notes on Camp." And in that, at least, the drawbacks are to be excused and even celebrated.
Profile Image for Narjes Dorzade.
270 reviews252 followers
June 14, 2019
این کتاب بی‌نظیره،حتما خسته بودم و ریویو ننوشتم.
اما سانتاگ حرف نداره،قبل از این کتاب یا بعدش حتما کتاب مصاحبه‌اش با رولینگ استون رو بخونید.
Profile Image for Tosh.
Author 13 books660 followers
April 6, 2008
The famous essay on camp is in this edition as well as wonderful essays on Godard and Beckett. Sontag was an amazing essayist, a really great cultural critic. A walking and breathing treasure of knowledge and clear thinking. One would think she would have loved Goodreads -- but then maybe not. For sure she would be arguing with everyone on this site. What fun!

But seriously even if one disagrees with her work, she is important just for her taste in literature among other things.
February 13, 2021
درود بر سوزان عزیزم
برخلافِ انتظارم تمام کتاب رو با لذت خوندم و چقدر از دیدگاه‌های سانتاک کِیف کردم
مرسی خانم سوزان سانتاک عزیز
Profile Image for Jowita Mazurkiewicz.
302 reviews99 followers
July 22, 2021
"Świat, w którym powstały te eseje, przeminął". Pozostaje cieszyć się ostrym, dalekim od subtelności stylem Sontag, jej intelektualną pewnością siebie i prostą przenikliwością. Najfajniej jest, kiedy autorka walczy o wrażliwość i zmysłowość, o formę i estetykę przekraczającą moralność.

Czuję, że bym Sontag nie polubiła i że wiele nas różni, ale chętnie podpatrywałam jej metody kształtowania myśli. Niemniej, zapewne minie dużo czasu, zanim znowu do niej zajrzę.
Profile Image for Jonfaith.
1,888 reviews1,415 followers
September 5, 2019
Jerking off the universe is perhaps what all philosophy, all abstract thought is about: am intense, and not very sociable pleasure, which has to be repeated again and again.

That's Ms. Sontag on Genet, in lieu of discussing Sartre's Saint Genet. I find it an amazing analogy for thinking and I'm curious what Heidegger would have thought of the affront? There are attendant opportunities which have to be ignored. Yet it lingers and I contemplate.

Against Interpretation was Sontag's first collection of essays and it dazzles, though the range of such is certainly circumscribed. Her point is made by citing certain authors. What about other authors with contrasting perspectives? Don't worry about that, because she hasn't read them yet. Despite that preening, she is a formidable reader. I really enjoyed the pieces on Camus, Pavese and Lukács . Her takedown of Ionesco was brilliant if overzealous and finally her stomping of Walter Kaufmann may have appeared less pathetic in 1962. One shouldn’t disabuse in the name of clarity, it borders on bullying and is seen as unseemly in certain circles—so I’m told.

I didn't care as much for the theatre reviews and the digressions on film, even if it was Godard and Bresson. The Notes on Camp is timeless and necessary but about a quarter of the others are petty and ephemeral.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 524 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.