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Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag
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“It hurts to love. It's like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“I want to be able to be alone, to find it nourishing - not just a waiting.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My emotional life: dialectic between craving for privacy and need to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to another.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Whoever invented marriage was an ingenious tormentor. It is an institution committed to the dulling of the feelings. The whole point of marriage is repetition. The best it aims for is the creation of strong, mutual dependencies.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Instead of expecting all and being lowered into despair each time I get less, I expect nothing now and, occasionally, I get a little, and am more than a little happy.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“I have always been full of lust - as I am now - but I have always been placing conceptual obstacles in my own path.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
tags: lust
“Passion paralyzes good taste.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“It's so effortless to let my loneliness defeat me, make me mold myself to whatever would (in some way - but not wholly) relieve it. I must never forget it... I want sensuality and sensitivity, both... Let me never deny that... I want to err on the side of violence and excess, rather than to underfill my moments.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“The really important thing is not to reject anything.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My ignorance is not charming.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Result of self-consciousness: audience and actor are the same. I live my life as a spectacle for myself, for my own edification. I live my life but I don't live in it. The hoarding instinct in human relations.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“What, I ask, drives me to disorder? How can I diagnose myself? All I feel, most immediately, is the most anguished need for physical love and mental companionship -”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“One can know worlds one has not experienced, choose a response to life that has never been offered, create an inwardness utterly strong and fruitful.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“She felt herself needing more and more sleep. When she awoke in the morning, she thought of when she might lie down again - and when she would sleep. She started going to the movies.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“The only interesting ideas are heresies”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Marriage is a sort of tacit hunting in couples. The world all in couples, each couple in its own little house, watching its own little interests and stewing in its own little privacy - it's the most repulsive thing in the world. One's got to get rid of the exclusiveness of married love.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. It is equivalent to a sense of abusing the present.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“All aesthetic judgment is really cultural evaluation.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Gide and I have attained such perfect intellectual communion that I experience the appropriate labor pains for every thought he gives birth to!”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“In NY sensuality completely turns into sexuality - no objects for the senses to respond to, no beautiful river, houses, people. Awful smells of the street, and dirt... Nothing except eating, if that, and the frenzy of the bed.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My desire to write is connected with my homosexuality. I need the identity as a weapon, to match the weapon that society has against me. It doesn’t justify my homosexuality. But it would give me — I feel — a license.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“All great art contains at its center contemplation, a dynamic contemplation.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys: they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“On Keeping a Journal.

Superficial to understand the journal as just a receptacle for one’s private, secret thoughts—like a confidante who is deaf, dumb, and illiterate. In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could do to any person; I create myself.

The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather—in many cases—offers an alternative to it.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“I don't intend to let my intellect dominate me, and the last thing I want to do is worship knowledge or people who have knowledge! I don't give a damn for anyone's aggregation of facts, except that it be a reflection [of] basic sensitivity which I do demand... I intend to do everything... to have one way of evaluating experience—does it cause me pleasure or pain and I shall be very cautious about rejecting the painful—I shall anticipate pleasure everything and find it, too, for it is everywhere! I shall involve myself wholly... everything matters! The only thing I resign is the power to resign, to retreat: the acceptance of sameness and the intellect. I am alive... I am beautiful... what else is there?”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“I am not myself with people [...] but am I myself when alone? That seems unlikely, too.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“Image of an image of an image... But to record all the dips and upswings, in a sense falsifies them, and I start deluding myself and thinking all this is, or might be, real. Enough to play the game, or try to play it. A mistake to tally up the score.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“No such thing as a temptation. A temptation is a desire, a lust like any other - but one that we regret afterwards + wish undone (or that we know beforehand we will regret after). So it`s no excuse to say, ``I didn`t mean to do it. I was tempted + I couldn`t resist.`` All one can honestly say is, ``I did it. I`m sorry I did it.``
- Reborn”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My emotional life: dialectic between craving for privacy and need to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to another. With him I have neither, neither privacy or passion. Neither the heightening of self which is won by privacy and loneliness, nor the splendid heroic beautiful loss of self that accompanies passion.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
“My love wants to incorporate her totally, to eat her. My love is selfish.”
Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

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