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Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone…

Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview (2013)

by Jonathan Cott

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The Complete Rolling Stone Interview is an utter delight and absolute must-read for any Susan Sontag fan. This 1978 interview with Jonathan Cott, published here in its entirety for the very first time, captures Sontag at the height of her career, shortly after the publication of Illness as Metaphor and On Photography. These essays structure much of the conversation, but in between Sontag touches on nearly every topic imaginable, from love and sex to fiction-writing and Vietnam. This breadth alone is impressive enough, but what is most notable about The Complete Rolling Stone Interview is the new window it provides on Sontag's genius, revealing her to be just as brilliant in conversation as on paper. Again and again, Sontag is so articulate, erudite, and imaginative that it is hard to believe that you're really reading an interview, and that her remarks were really extemporaneous. Jonathan Cott also displays his prodigious talents as an interviewer, ably guiding their discussion down interesting paths and doing as much to contribute to as to challenge the points Sontag raises. Some readers may find this interview to be a bit too aimless and unfocused, but for me it was a complete joy to read, a remarkable display of one of the 20th century's sharpest intellects at work. ( )
2 vote williecostello | Jan 22, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300189796, Hardcover)

Susan Sontag, one of the most internationally renowned and controversial intellectuals of the latter half of the twentieth century, still provokes. In 1978 Jonathan Cott, a founding contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, interviewed Sontag first in Paris and later in New York. Only a third of their twelve hours of discussion ever made it to print. Now, more than three decades later, Yale University Press is proud to publish the entire transcript of Sontag’s remarkable conversation, accompanied by Cott’s preface and recollections.
Sontag’s musings and observations reveal the passionate engagement and breadth of her critical intelligence and curiosities at a moment when she was at the peak of her powers. Nearly a decade after her death, these hours of conversation offer a revelatory and indispensable look at the self-described "besotted aesthete" and "obsessed moralist." Sontag proclaims a personal credo, declaring: "Thinking is a form of feeling; feeling is a form of thinking."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:49 -0400)

Published in its entirety for the first time, a candid conversation with Susan Sontag at the height of her brilliant career.

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