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Susan Sontag (1933–2004)

Author of On Photography

96+ Works 18,335 Members 210 Reviews 51 Favorited
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About the Author

Susan Sontag was born in New York City on January 16, 1933. She received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and did graduate work in philosophy, literature and theology at Harvard University and Saint Anne's College, Oxford University. She was the author of 17 books including four novels, a show more collection of short stories, several plays, and eight works of nonfiction. Her novels are The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for fiction. On Photography received the 1978 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and Art in America. She also wrote and directed four feature films and stage plays in the United States and Europe. She died from leukemia on December 28, 2004 at the age of 71. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: from Lifeinlegacy.com

Series

Works by Susan Sontag

On Photography (1977) — Author — 3,408 copies, 41 reviews
Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) 1,966 copies, 24 reviews
Against Interpretation: And Other Essays (1966) 1,927 copies, 16 reviews
The Volcano Lover (1992) 1,567 copies, 23 reviews
In America (2000) 1,287 copies, 12 reviews
Illness as Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors (1989) 1,181 copies, 11 reviews
Women (1999) — Author — 675 copies, 12 reviews
Illness as Metaphor (1978) 665 copies, 19 reviews
Under the Sign of Saturn (1980) 575 copies, 7 reviews
Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 (2008) 568 copies, 8 reviews
Styles of Radical Will (1969) 487 copies, 2 reviews
Where the Stress Falls (1982) 466 copies, 4 reviews
At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches (2007) 422 copies, 5 reviews
I, etcetera (1978) 396 copies, 3 reviews
Death Kit (1967) 313 copies, 1 review
AIDS and Its Metaphors (1989) 263 copies, 3 reviews
A Susan Sontag Reader (1982) 252 copies, 1 review
The Benefactor (1963) 249 copies, 3 reviews
Notes on "Camp" (1996) 227 copies
Essays of the 1960s & 70s (2013) 184 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Essays 1992 (1992) — Editor — 138 copies
Alice in Bed (1991) 91 copies
Debriefing: Collected Stories (2017) 85 copies, 2 reviews
On Women (2023) 76 copies, 2 reviews
Don McCullin (2000) — Essay — 75 copies, 1 review
The Way We Live Now [short story] (1991) 64 copies, 1 review
Violent Legacies: Three Cantos (1992) 54 copies, 1 review
Stories: Collected Stories (2017) 34 copies, 1 review
Trip to Hanoi (1968) 32 copies
Brother Carl (1974) 18 copies
Duet for Cannibals (1970) 14 copies
Standpunkt beziehen (2016) 7 copies
Tradurre letteratura (2004) 4 copies
Myśl to forma odczuwania (2014) 4 copies
RWWM: Memory/Cage (1997) 3 copies
Histórias Stories (2019) 3 copies
De las mujeres (2024) 2 copies, 1 review
Dernier recours (2011) 2 copies
Tekster om film (2022) 2 copies
A dama do mar 2 copies
Le style camp (2022) 1 copy
Cuestión de énfasis (2007) 1 copy
Co ważne (2024) 1 copy
benefactor, el (2008) 1 copy
Ruyalarinin Esiri (2006) 1 copy
Sontag on film (2016) 1 copy
Holocaust 1 copy
Jag, etc (1980) 1 copy
Promised Lands (2011) 1 copy
Godard 1 copy
Sobre la marcha (2006) 1 copy

Associated Works

Pedro Páramo (1955) — Foreword, some editions — 3,399 copies, 75 reviews
The Best American Short Stories of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 1,574 copies, 10 reviews
Ferdydurke (1937) — Foreword, some editions — 1,406 copies, 16 reviews
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contributor — 1,140 copies, 3 reviews
The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 787 copies, 4 reviews
The Case of Comrade Tulayev (1949) — Introduction, some editions — 748 copies, 11 reviews
Fierce Pajamas: An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker (2001) — Contributor — 716 copies, 6 reviews
Summer in Baden-Baden (1981) — Introduction, some editions — 627 copies, 14 reviews
Under the Glacier (1968) — Afterword, some editions — 619 copies, 23 reviews
The Temptation to Exist (1956) — Introduction, some editions — 592 copies, 7 reviews
Selected Stories (1982) — Foreword, some editions — 556 copies, 11 reviews
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak (2003) — Preface, some editions — 463 copies, 8 reviews
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times (2001) — Contributor — 450 copies, 4 reviews
A Barthes Reader (1982) — Editor, some editions; Introduction, some editions — 412 copies, 1 review
Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker (2000) — Contributor — 356 copies
Telling Tales (2004) — Contributor — 346 copies, 2 reviews
The Walk (1917) — Foreword, some editions — 330 copies, 10 reviews
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 330 copies, 2 reviews
The Best American Essays 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 315 copies, 1 review
Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings (1976) — Editor, some editions; Introduction, some editions — 314 copies, 4 reviews
Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology (1995) — Contributor — 242 copies, 2 reviews
Letters: Summer 1926 (1985) — Foreword, some editions — 227 copies, 1 review
The Disability Studies Reader (1994) — Contributor, some editions — 173 copies, 1 review
The Best American Short Stories of the 80s (1990) — Contributor — 165 copies
McLuhan, Hot & Cool (1967) — Contributor — 160 copies, 1 review
The Best American Essays 1997 (1997) — Contributor — 157 copies, 1 review
Bellocq: Photographs from Storyville (1970) — Introduction, some editions — 154 copies, 1 review
The Best American Short Stories 1987 (1987) — Contributor — 130 copies
Mistresses of the Dark [Anthology] (1998) — Contributor — 123 copies, 4 reviews
Plays (2001) — Preface — 101 copies
Selected Writings of Roland Barthes (1983) — Editor, some editions — 88 copies
A Place in the World Called Paris (1994) — Foreword — 87 copies, 1 review
Science Fiction: The Future (1971) — Contributor — 86 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (2021) — Contributor — 61 copies
Howard Hodgkin Paintings (1995) — Foreword — 56 copies
Granta 1: New American Writing (1979) — Contributor — 44 copies, 2 reviews
Granta 5: The Modern Common Wind (1982) — Contributor — 44 copies
Hitler, a Film From Germany (1978) — Preface, some editions — 41 copies, 1 review
Science Fiction: A Collection of Critical Essays (1976) — Author — 37 copies, 1 review
Partisan Review (1998) — Contributor, some editions — 37 copies
The Good Parts: The Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction (2000) — Contributor — 34 copies
Italy: One Hundred Years of Photography (1984) — Introduction — 17 copies
Conjunctions: 30, Paper Airplane (1998) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Analog Sea Review: Number Three (2020) — Contributor — 10 copies
American Review 21 (1974) — Contributor — 9 copies
Amerika, Amerika bloemlezing — Contributor — 8 copies
Paras elokuvakirja (1995) — Contributor — 5 copies
New Directions in Prose and Poetry 35 (1977) — Contributor — 3 copies
Antaeus: Fiction, Poetry, Documents - Jubilee Edition (1991) — Contributor — 3 copies
海 1972年05月号 — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (395) aesthetics (116) AIDS (104) American (213) American literature (298) anthology (755) art (431) art history (92) criticism (345) cultural studies (122) essay (226) essays (1,705) fiction (1,880) historical fiction (112) history (159) humor (210) literary criticism (356) literature (620) magical realism (108) Mexican literature (116) Mexico (177) non-fiction (1,032) novel (360) own (99) philosophy (511) photography (1,003) read (167) Roman (102) Russian literature (107) short stories (824) Sontag (165) Susan Sontag (148) test (127) theory (216) to-read (1,745) translation (94) unread (187) USA (136) war (87) writing (208)

Common Knowledge

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Discussions

AMERICAN AUTHORS CHALLENGE--FEBRUARY 2024--SUSAN SONTAG in 75 Books Challenge for 2024 (February 24)
Susan Sontag in Legacy Libraries (April 2018)
Novel about a melancholic couple in Name that Book (June 2012)

Reviews

Ante el dolor de los demás
Susan Sontag
Publicado: 2003 | 96 páginas
Ensayo Arte Ciencias sociales Comunicación Psicología

Las imágenes de la violencia y la guerra se han convertido, a través de la pequeña pantalla, en lugares comunes. Susan Sontag nos descubre las implicaciones y los peligros que esto tiene para la sociedad contemporánea. Ya no podemos ser inocentes, somos testigos. Y este planteamiento desemboca en cuestiones fundamentales: la manera en que las imágenes pueden generar rebeldía, fomentar la agresividad o derivar en apatía; la naturaleza de la guerra; los límites de la compasión y la solidaridad; y finalmente, la responsabilidad individual. Para ilustrar sus teorías, la autora evoca una impresionante historia de la representación del dolor: de Goya a los campos de concentración nazis, la guerra civil española, Sierra Leona, Ruanda, Israel y Palestina, y Nueva York el 11 de septiembre de 2001. Susan Sontag retoma aquí uno de sus temas favoritos: la fotografía, ese arte contemporáneo que forma parte fundamental de nuestra manera del ver el mundo y que es pieza clave de las reflexiones de una de las intelectuales más lúcidas de hoy.… (more)
 
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libreriarofer | 23 other reviews | Jun 18, 2024 |
From the perspective of someone who is an enthusiastic photographer, this book helped me to work through why I like to take pictures. Sontag discusses many of the purposes that photography has been identified with and used for, as a replacement for painting, for cataloguing the world around us, for attempting to replicate or copy the thing photographed.
She died before the real digital age of photography so many of her thoughts are only hints at the slightly strange reality that has unfolded, where billions of people now have an excellent camera in their pockets and can share their experiences and pictures instantly with each other. What would she have made of this I wonder? Photography is no longer attempting at being art for most people, it is simply
Sharing their lives with each other, frankly and unashamedly, even when often the things that are shared are not really worthy of attention.
Narcissism appears to be rife among younger people who pose and share images to each other and to the world as though to suggest that their value is related to their looks and not to their ideas. Sontag would have had a field day with Instagram, it’s a pity she isn’t here to see it.
… (more)
 
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Rory_Bergin | 40 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |
In 1876, the celebrated Polish actress Maryna Załężowska and a group of her Warsaw-intellectual friends set off to live on a Fourier-inspired commune in California. As so often happens with idealistic communities, it doesn’t quite work out as they had hoped, and Maryna finds herself going back on stage to create a new career for herself in America.

Sontag uses this historical-fiction framework to explore what it might have meant to be a famous woman, successful in a high-profile profession, in late-19th century Europe and America, as well as picking out some of the oddities of American life and thought from a European perspective, and vice-versa, and dissecting the ways that acting on stage intersect with real (family) life and relationships. But also about the way that migration creates opportunities — and pressures — for us to adopt new personas and names. We learn quite a lot about Victorian tastes in theatre, meet some interesting real-life figures from the period, and generally get an awful lot of information thrown at us.

Sontag also has a lot of fun playing around with a range of clever — and sometimes plain theatrical — narrative techniques, most notably in the opening chapter, where the far-from-omniscient narrator finds herself watching from the sidelines of a party taking place in an era and a place far outside her own experience, and trying to piece together who these characters might be and how they fit together. The closing chapter is another tour-de-force, a monologue, with stage directions, addressed to Maryna and delivered by her fellow-actor Edwin Booth (brother of…) as he slips in and out of the roles of himself and an assortment of Shakespearean protagonists.

A demanding read, but also quite a rewarding one, with its share of fun.
… (more)
½
 
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thorold | 11 other reviews | Apr 17, 2024 |
Reading Sontag is an experience of extraordinary clarity and lucidity, which are themselves powerful enough that it is easy to imagine that Sontag is declaring an unimpeachable, gospel-like Truth, and not simply a person sharing her opinions as best she can, because she believes they will be helpful.
 
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localgayangel | 10 other reviews | Mar 5, 2024 |

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Works
96
Also by
57
Members
18,335
Popularity
#1,197
Rating
3.9
Reviews
210
ISBNs
669
Languages
28
Favorited
51

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