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Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. Her non-fiction works include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, AIDS and its Metaphors and Regarding the Pain of Others. She is also the author of four novels, a collection of stories and several plays. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.
The complete short stories of Susan Sontag, one of the most brilliant & influential writers of the twentieth century - collected together for the first time Susan Sontag is most often remembered as a brilliant essayist - inquisitive, analytical, fearlessly outspoken. Yet all throughout her life, she also wrote short stories: fictions which wrestled with those ideas and preoccupations she couldn't address in essay form.
It was a movement so artfully anarchic, and so quickly suppressed, that readers only began to discover its strange and singular brilliance three decades after it was extinguished-and then only in somizdat and emigre publications. Some called it the last of the Russian avant-garde, and others called it the first (and last) instance of Absurdism in Russia: however difficult to classify, it was OBERIU (from an acronym standing for The Union of Real Art), and the pleasures of its poetry and prose are, with this volume, at long last fully open to English-speaking readers. This anthology includes the work of three writers, Alexander Vvedensky, Daniil Kharms, and Nikolai Zabolotsky, who, between 1927 and 1930, made up the core of OBERIU, and of three others, Nikolai Oleinikov, Leonid Lipavsky, and Yakov Druskin, who, although not members of OBERIU, worked in the same vein. Skillfully translated to preserve the weird charm of the originals, these poems and prose pieces display all the hilarity and tragedy, the illogical action and puppetlike violence and eroticism, and the hallucinatory intensity that brought down the wrath of the Soviet censors. Today they offer an uncanny reflection of the distorted reality they reject.
'Magnificent... Her famous seriousness pervades throughout... What's striking is the astonishing scope, potential and possibility Sontag saw in short fiction' Financial Times The complete collected short stories of Susan Sontag, one of the most brilliant and influential writers of the twentieth century Susan Sontag is most often remembered as a brilliant essayist - inquisitive, analytical, fearlessly outspoken. Yet all throughout her life, she also wrote short stories: fictions which wrestled with those ideas and preoccupations she couldn't address in essay form. These short fictions are allegories, parables, autobiographical vignettes, each capturing an authentic fragment of life, dramatizing Sontag's private griefs and fears. Stories collects all of Sontag's short fiction for the first time. This astonishingly versatile collection showcases its peerless writer at the height of her powers. For any Sontag fan, it is an unmissable testament to her creative achievements. 'Sontag is one of the most influential critics of her generation' New York Review of Books
Two decades of indispensable work by a great American writer-more than forty longer and shorter pieces that illustrate a deeply felt, kaleidoscopic array of interests, passions, observations, and ideasThirty-five years after her first collection, the classic Against Interpretation, America's most important essayist chose more than forty longer and shorter pieces from the previous twenty years. "e;Reading,"e; the first of three sections, includes ardent pieces on writers from Sontag's own private canon-Machado de Assis, Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Borges, Tsvetaeva, and Elizabeth Hardwick. In the second section, "e;Seeing,"e; she shares her passions for film, dance, photography, painting, opera, and theater. And in the final section, "e;There and Here,"e; Sontag explores her own commitments to the work (and activism) of conscience and to the vocation of the writer.
Styles of Radical Will, Susan Sontag's second collection of essays, extends the investigations she undertook in Against Interpretation with essays on film, literature, politics, and a groundbreaking study of pornography.In "e;The Aesthetics of Silence,"e; Sontag examines how silence mediates the role of art as a form of spirituality in an increasingly secular culture. "e;The Pornographic Imagination"e; attempts to define and understand the genre of pornography. "e;What's Happening in America"e; muses on the state of the country in 1966 when the essay was written, discussing history, politics, and consumerism. Other essays in Syles of Radical Will are "e;'Thinking against Oneself': Reflections on Cioran,"e; "e;Theatre and Film,"e; "e;Bergman's Persona,"e; "e;Godard,"e; and "e;Trip to Hanoi."e;
Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world. It includes the famous essays "e;Notes on Camp"e; and "e;Against Interpretation,"e; as well as her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought.
Sontag's most important critical writings from 1972 to 1980 are collected in Under the Sign of Saturn. One of America's leading essayists, Sontag's writings are commentaries on the relation between moral and aesthetic ideas, discussing the works of Antonin Artaud, Leni Riefenstahl, Elias Canetti, Walter Benjamin, and others. The collection includes a variety of her well-known essays. In "e;Fascinating Fascism,"e; Sontag eviscerates Leni Riefenstahl's attempts to rehabilitate her image after working for Adolf Hitler on propaganda films during World War II. "e;Approaching Artaud"e; reflects on the work and influence of french actor, director, and writer Antonin Artaud. The title essay is a study of the life and temperament of Walter Benjamin, who Sontag describes as a sad and lonesome man. The book also includes the essays "e;On Paul Goodman,"e; "e;Syberberg's Hitler,"e; "e;Remembering Barthes,"e; and "e;Mind as Passion"e;.Susan Sontag's writings are famously full of intellectual range and depth, and are at turns exhilarating, ominous, disturbing, and beautiful. Under the Sign of Saturn manages to touch on all of these notes and more.
'The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful.' These two classic essays were the first works of criticism to break down the boundaries between 'high' and 'low' culture, and made Susan Sontag a literary sensation. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
According to Edgardo Cozarinsky, the Argentine film critic: "e;There is something recognizably Scandinavian about Brother Carl: un-easy, puzzling exchanges between its characters, with brooding, ever-present nature surrounding them. The interplay of formal speech and plain silence recalls Dreyer's Gertrud (rather than Bergman's The Silence and Persona). On closer inspection, though, it is unlike any other Scandinavian film. The miracles, unlike that in Dreyer's Ordet, are not 'real' ones. But they are the only kind these characters can afford. Brother Carl is an outsider's commentary, with very personal variations, on those motifs that filmgoers associate with the Scandinavian film tradition. And much of its elusive fascination depends on this flexible distance btween material that may seem familiar and the fresh look that establishes its own perspective."e;Brother Carl was shot in and around Stockholm in 1970 and had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971. It was shows at the San Francisco, Chicago, and London film festivals, and had its U.S. theatrical premiere in 1972. Note: This eBook edition does not contain images.
Like Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Marguerite Duras, Susan Sontag has come to filmmaking in the course of a career as a novelist and essayist. In 1968 she accepted a Swedish studio's invitation to write and direct a move in Stockholm. Duet for Cannibals is the result.Frederic Tuten, in Vogue magazine, wrote: "e;Duet for Cannibals is a witty, bone-dry serio-comedy that fascinates and disturbs in turn....Dr. Arthur Bauer, attractive in a swinish way, fiftyish, arch-revolutionary theoretician engaged in writing his memoirs, is Sontag's anti- or false revolutionary, an arrogant, self-aggrandizing trickster who blurs together revolution and his ego. Francesca, Bauer's neurotic, elegantly seductive wife, supports her husband's mystifications while composing her own. Tomas, an earnest student revolutionary hired by Bauer to catalogue his documents, and Ingrid, Tomas's impressionable girlfriend, are the fodder for the elder couple's psychological and sexual feast."e;With this film Susan Sontag joins the company of writers-filmmakers and offers her own special contribution to cinematic art. Note: This eBook edition does not contain images.
'The only transformation that interests me is a total transformation- however minute. I want the encounter with a person or a work of art to change everything.' Brazen, brilliant and deeply searing, Sontag's diaries wrestle with the profound - exploring ideas and subjects as far-reaching as writing, war, desire and consciousness. From the graphic destruction of war-torn Vietnam to her tumultuous romantic affairs, in the second volume of her diaries, Sontag is profoundly candid and insightful. This instalment charts the years when Sontag wrote the majority of her renowned essays, including the ground-breaking Against Interpretation in 1966. Riveting and enlightening, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh illuminates the mind of one of the twentieth century's most significant intellectuals. 'Her diary entries combine her interests with bright, aphoristic turns of phrase....These diaries are a reminder of the value of the work that made her great, and also mysterious . . . ' The Economist 'It is a rare pleasure to read, in her diary, discoveries being made in real time. She applies her mind to itself with enthusiasm' The Guardian 'In its fragmentation and incoherence and passion, its combination of the erudite and the everyday, it is more true to life, both intellectual and emotional, than the most artful novel or careful biography. It may well be that Sontag's diaries, like Virginia Woolf's (which she knew and admired) will come to be seen as just as brilliant and important as anything she wrote.' The Telegraph
First published in 1967, Death Kit is a classic of modern fiction. Blending realism and dream, Susan Sontag's second novel offers a passionate exploration of the recesses of the American conscience. The novel is a narrative of the suffering of Dalton 'Diddy' Harron, told through his own observations. He works in advertising for a microscope manufacturer, is thirty-three and divorced and a month ago tried to commit suicide. The haphazard events of his life, including killing a railway worker and falling in love with a blind girl, are brought to us through the lens of Diddy's own mind. We follow him through his journey to justify his actions and exorcise his inner demons, but we can see what is happening to Diddy only from inside his head, in the present, and the balance of his mind does not always bear close scrutiny.
'In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could do to any person; I create myself.' Intimate, vulnerable and unsparing, Reborn bears witness to the evolution of Susan Sontag. With entries dating from 1947-1963, the first instalment from Susan Sontag's diaries charts her ascension from early adolescence to her early thirties. Unabashed, though thoroughly self-reflective, Sontag's diaries reveal the inner workings of her mind, her insecurities and her passions. This compelling account of the evolution of America's greatest post-war intellectual allows us to behold the moral and political awakening of the artist and critic. 'An exceptionally vivid, and often moving, account of a young woman's painful journey towards acceptance of her own nature.' Sunday Telegraph 'Moving on several levels . . . thrilling . . . fascinating . . . often reads like a brilliant postmodern bildungsroman' New York Magazine 'One can feel Sontag's mind beginning to ripen and bloom, and the full force of the intellectual originality that would be her hallmark emerging' The Guardian
A series of provocative discussions on everything from individual authors to contemporary religious thinking, Against Interpretation and Other Essays is the definitive collection of Susan Sontag's best known and important works published in Penguin Modern Classics. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between 'high' and 'low' art forms, and to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces 'Notes on Camp' and 'Against Interpretation'. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis and contemporary religious thought. Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations of readers, and the field of cultural criticism, ever since. Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was born in Manhattan and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels - The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America, which won the 2000 US National Book Award for fiction - a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. If you enjoyed Against Interpretation and Other Essays, you might like Sontag's On Photography, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A dazzling intellectual performance' Vogue 'Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites' The Times
The story of In America is inspired by the emigration to America in 1876 of Helena Modrzejewska, Poland's most celebrated actress, accompanied by her husband, Count Karol Chlapowski, her fifteen-year-old son, Rudolf, the young journalist and future author of Quo Vadis, Henryk Sienkiewicz, and a few friends; their brief sojourn in Anaheim, California; and Modrzejewska's subsequent triumphant career on the American stage under the name Helena Modjeska.
The Benefactor is Susan Sontag's first book and first novel. It was originally published in 1963, and introduced a unique writer to the world. In the form of a memoir by a latter-day Candide named Hippolyte, The Benefactor leads us on a kind of psychic Grand Tour, in which Hippolyte's violently imaginative dream life becomes indistinguishable from his surprising experiences in the 'real world'.