Works[ edit ] The works are in English unless noted. The links following respective editions point to their online versions; where no file format is specified abbreviations stand for digital archives. Links within the wiki are in green. Novels[ edit ] The Benefactor, New York:
For the past several years she has been the chief voice in America of one main tradition of French criticism, which is one of the reasons, I'm convinced, why she is disliked, where she's disliked, with such ferocity and xenophobic scorn.
And that would include the journal of her recent visit to North Vietnam, reprinted in this new collection, Styles of Radical Will. The point isn't that there is criticism, neat, familiar, unquestionable as a procedure, and then there is what Miss Sontag does, odd, peripheral although maybe useful; but that what she has been doing, or attempting, is more interesting and more relevant to what is going on than is most traditional criticism.
At least, on a pragmatic test, I don't know of any critic more interesting or more relevant. Her sensibility departs from that of the traditional literary critic in that she is very little interested in, or at least in writing about, fiction except as it enters extreme modes, as in pornography and seems to care nothing at all about poetry….
But she differs, too, from the traditional critic of general culture in that she is deeply involved in aesthetic awareness. We might call her a critic of ideas, except that she has always wished to treat ideas sensuously, aesthetically; or decide that she is a philosopher of cultural forms, except that philosophy for her has always been a drama rather than a method.
The cruder one is moral and "humanistic. To this the only answer is that no material or data or subject or, for that matter, mood in the aesthetic realm has anything to do with being sanctioned or deplored, needs validation or, in short, lies in the moral universe at all…. The moral charge against Miss Sontag, which is mainly a charge against the kinds of art she has been interested in, issues from the same morale such charges always do: Beyond this Miss Sontag has marched, aggressively and with her great bristling apparatus of learning …, pointing every which way but most dangerously at certain processes of literary erudition itself, into some sacred realms, to the consternation of their guardians.
At the least newcomers are expected to observe the rules. And one of the chief rules is that criticism is a province of the dispassionate and fact-finding intellect, which it is designed to serve and, so to speak, to fill out.
But Miss Sontag, it seems, would like to fill out the body or at any rate the whole man, to return the intellectual side—especially the hermeneutic side—of aesthetic experience to a subordinate place.
When she wrote, as the coda to one of her most famous essays ["Against Interpretation"], that "in place of hermeneutics, we need an erotics of art," she drove many persons nearly wild with misapprehension that what she meant amounted to a new barbarism, a new species of self-indulgence, a relinquishment of the hard-won rationality through which we have steadily mastered art and myth in order to put them into the service of civilized being, of "culture.
She hasn't always meant it convincingly, it's true, or, to speak more plainly, she hasn't always demonstrated that mystery and delight are what she herself experiences. It is surely a notable fact about Miss Sontag's sensibility—her "subject" and the principle of her shift in critical method—that it so often strikes you cold, even icy.
This is the irony, detected by many, of her demand for an erotics of art. But to be caught in an irony of this kind has nothing to do with being inhuman; writers, more than most humans, are situated between what they are and what they hope it's possible to be.
Nor is it a matter of any classical inability to "feel," and attempts to discredit her on this ground … are obtuse and unjust. For the problem of her sensibility is also the generating power of its interest and importance for us as she exemplifies and tests and expounds and shapes it into form in her writing.
It is precisely classical ability to feel, which, as it works itself out in our shibboleths and humanistic myths, means to feel the way others have, to feel certain emotions in certain ways that have been sanctified as properly human and necessary, that has come into question.
In doing this she has indicated all the debilities and irresolutions and compensatory aggressions and contradictions that are inevitable in consciousness in transition. The chief content of that transition now is the challenge to Western literary culture, or rather to the supremacy of literature as culture; the growing breakdown of the erstwhile separation between art and audience, or more strictly between art as object for contemplation and as material for The entire section is 2, words."Notes on 'Camp '" is an essay by Susan Sontag first published in It was her first contribution to the Partisan Review.
The essay created a literary sensation and brought Sontag intellectual notoriety. It was republished in in Sontag's debut collection of essays. The best nonfiction books: No 16 – Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag () Sontag’s Wildean provocations reached their apogee in her famous essay, Notes .
Susan Sontag (16 January – 28 December ) was an American writer and filmmaker, novelist, writer of screenplays, professor, literary icon, and political activist.
"Notes on 'Camp '" is an essay by Susan Sontag first published in It was her first contribution to the Partisan Review. The essay created a literary sensation and brought Sontag intellectual notoriety. It was republished in in Sontag's debut collection of essays First published: Susan Sontag (/ ˈ s ɒ n t æ ɡ / She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels; she published her first major work, the essay "Notes on 'Camp'", in Her best-known works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, Styles of Radical Will, Collections of essays ().
Against Interpretation and Other Essays READ AN EXCERPT First published in , this celebrated book – Sontag’s first collection of essays – quickly became a modern classic, and has had an enormous influence in America and abroad on thinking about the arts and contemporary culture.