Reading Susan Sontag

Overview

Reading Susan Sontag is the first book to survey the broad range of Ms. Sontag's work, including full discussions of her fiction. Carl Rollyson, Ms. Sontag's first biographer, is uniquely situated to provide well-informed and clear readings of all her major work. He writes for general readers and students as well as for specialists. Each of his chapters is devoted to one of Ms. Sontag's books and is divided into three sections: synopsis, Ms. Sontag's own views of her work, and critical commentary, and thus ...
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Overview

Reading Susan Sontag is the first book to survey the broad range of Ms. Sontag's work, including full discussions of her fiction. Carl Rollyson, Ms. Sontag's first biographer, is uniquely situated to provide well-informed and clear readings of all her major work. He writes for general readers and students as well as for specialists. Each of his chapters is devoted to one of Ms. Sontag's books and is divided into three sections: synopsis, Ms. Sontag's own views of her work, and critical commentary, and thus progresses from basic knowledge to more sophisticated interpretation. In a detailed chronological overview of her work, Mr. Rollyson also describes and comments on Ms. Sontag's forays into film and theatre, showing how her interests in dance and opera, for example, are connected to her aesthetic view of the world. A helpful glossary at the end of the book defines the terms and figures of speech that characterize her essays and may inhibit readers who do not share her formidable command of world culture; it also traces her use of allusions to other writers from one essay to the next. In all, Reading Susan Sontag is an enormously useful companion to the work of one of our major writers.
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What People Are Saying

Thomas M. Inge
One can ask for no better guidebook to an appreciation and understanding of a major American public intellectual and literary figure.
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, RANDOLPH-MACON COLLEGE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566633918
  • Publisher: Ivan R Dee
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Rollyson is author (with Lisa Paddock) of Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon, and of biographies of Rebecca West, Norman Mailer, Martha Gellhorn, Lillian Hellman, and Marilyn Monroe. He is professor of English at Baruch College, City University of New York.
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Table of Contents

Preface: Susan Sontag: Sui Generis
1 A Chronological Overview 3
2 The Benefactor 44
3 Against Interpretation 55
4 Death Kit 74
5 Styles of Radical Will 86
6 On Photography 102
7 Illness as Metaphor 112
8 I, etcetera 119
9 Under the Sign of Saturn 132
10 AIDS 143
11 The Volcano Lover 156
12 In America 169
13 Sontag Reading Sontag 182
A Susan Sontag Glossary 188
Works by Susan Sontag 231
Works Cited in the Text 235
Index 247
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