Listomania discussion

Famous People's Lists > Susan Sontag's Lists?

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message 1: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
Susan Fucking Sontag must have made a list of the greatest/best/favorite books ever. This just has to have happened somewhere, but I can't find the list. If anybody knows of it, please post here. I love almost everything she recommends.

message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 8 comments I have a list of her favorite translated books. I'll look for it and post it.

message 3: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
GR user Ned has a recommended-by-Sontag shelf that I just stumbled onto! :) Yay

message 4: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments I just found this. I'm glad the shelf was of use - I too have noticed the consistency of Sontag recommendations. It was in fact quite a long time of taking her advice on books that led me to finally read her. The qualifications for the shelf are a bit loose, trying to remember all the things she mentioned positively is hard and I decided to just put on all the books of some writers she liked, others I have bought because of a quote from her on the back (one of the best - ) I also poached from that list of translated books.

She lists an incredible amount of books in her diaries but often unconnected to opinions on them, her son, the editor, also doesn't seem to think lists are a priority (he cuts of the 250 long list of her favourite films at 100) .

message 5: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments oh, so you do not need to look for the translation list

message 6: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
Thanks Ned! And welcome to the group. I've added that Jamaica Kincaid book, it looks really good

message 7: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments Thanks for the welcome, the Jamaica Kincaid is like nothing else I've ever read, Originally picked it up because it was in the picador editions i like and then Susan cemented it. Read the first story just outside the bookshop and it was revelatory.

message 8: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
Haha, I don't know if I've ever read anybody refer to Susan Sontag as just "Susan" ;) You got some balls! I just checked the Kincaid book out of the library (I work at the library, so that explains the quick turnaround time). It's really an interesting style. It reminds me of certain catalog/list poems I've read, like this one:

I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.

message 9: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments Yeah, that poem does seem in a similar vein. The book is yet another one of those that due to thinking it's amazing i have handed on and it has escaped me, and due to the nature of the style i cannot simply recall some good bits or moments. I may have to track down another copy.
I have developed the habit of calling her just Susan from having read far too much in a fairly short time and referring to her often, though I could add that you call her 'Susan Fucking Sontag', hardly more common I imagine.

message 10: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
Susan Fucking Sontag totally makes sense. I don't see how you could call her anything else actually ;)

In case your jones-ing for some Jamaica (Fucking Kincaid), here's a quote I just read that's pretty damn good:

In the night, way into the middle of the night, when the night isn't divided like a sweet drink into little sips, when there is no just before midnight, midnight, or just after midnight, when the night is round in some places, flat in some places, and in some places like a deep hole, blue at the edge, black inside, the night-soil men come. (p 6)

What a kick ass sentence. I totally know what she means too. Very lyrical, but not bullshit lyrical.

message 11: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments That has quenched my thirst, i shall not have to go to the bottom of the river (oho). I need to find out what her novels are like.

message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 8 comments Annie John is great and The Autobiography of My Mother has an absolutely brilliant first chapter. The rest of the novel is not as terrific but still, definitely worth reading. Other than that I've read her memoir about her brother. She used to write gardening pieces for The New Yorker (years ago). I'm not a gardener, but basically I'd read anything she wrote...

message 13: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments I think that is also my opinion.

message 14: by Ned (new)

Ned Rifle | 8 comments Thanks, btw

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 8 comments glad to encounter another Kincaid fan!

strangely, I had a dream once: I was going to write her biography!

well no...I'm not. I may have dreamed that because I was reading so much of her... one of my older students lives in the same small Vermont town she does and Kincaid is a member of her synagogue(her husband's Jewish) and she had told me stories... entertaining ones. Essentially, as you'd expect, she's very unconventional and outspoken.

message 16: by Catarina (new)

Catarina Lobo (catarinalobo) | 1 comments I've created a list on Goodreaders to put all the books she mentions in her own books/diaries. I'm putting all the references for the book added to the list. If you want to check it out:

message 17: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 145 comments Mod
Thanks Catarina! What an awesome list

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