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A SUSAN SONTAG READER by Susan Sontag

A SUSAN SONTAG READER

By Susan Sontag

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1982
ISBN: 0394715691
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The only Sontag material in this "Reader" which has not previously appeared in book form is an April 1975 interview with Sontag, originally published in the quarterly Salmagundi: in it Sontag responds to feminist criticism by noting "its demands for intellectual simplicity, advanced in the name of ethical solidarity"; she eloquently deals with the would-be labeling of art as "reactionary" or "radical"; and she convincingly defends her writings on pornography, on camp, and totalitarianism. The rest of the volume, introduced by Elizabeth Hardwick ("one could regret the omission of almost any piece of her writing, any square of the mosaic that is in the end an extraordinarily beautiful, expansive, and unique talent"), is Sontag's own, mostly unsurprising selection from her fiction and essays: a long excerpt from her first novel The Benefactor, a shorter one from Death Kit; three stories from I, Etcetera; five essays from Against Interpretation (including "Notes on Camp"); later essays on pornography, Godard, "Fascinating Fascism," Walter Benjamin; and the tribute to Roland Barthes which appeared as the introduction to last year's Barthes Reader. With only Illness as Metaphor not represented: a solid one-volume introduction to a major writer.