Susan Sontag Against Interpretation And Other Essays On Friendship

As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh reveals the inner life of Susan Sontag.

Providing a unique insight into the mind of one of the leading intellectuals of the modern age, Susan Sontag's As Conscious is Harnessed to Flesh chronicles the cultural, moral, and political journeys of this renowned critic and artist at the height of her powers.

As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh follows Sontag through the turbulent years of the late 1960s - from her trip to Hanoi at the peak of the Vietnam War to her time making films in Sweden - up to 1980, just before the beginning of the Reagan era. This is an invaluable record of the inner workings of one of the most inquisitive and analytical thinkers of the twentieth century at the height of her power. It is also a remarkable document of on individual's political and moral awakening.

'More true to life, both intellectual and emotional, than the most artful novel or careful biography' Sunday Telegraph

'Gold dust' Sunday Times

'A powerful self-portrait emerges. In its fragmentation . . . 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 will come to be seen as just as brilliant and important as anything she wrote' Sunday Telegraph

'Mesmerising, fascinating' Guardian

'Express the fullness and diversity of her intellectual curiosity. Revelatory in the most profound sense: they are existential fragments, self-selected thoughts, emotions, reactions . . . arising in one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century' The Times

One of America's best-known and most admired writers, Susan Sontag was also a leading commentator on contemporary culture until her death in December 2004. Her books include four novels and numerous works of non-fiction, among them Regarding the Pain of Others, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, At the Same Time, Against Interpretation and Other Essays and Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1963, all of which are published by Penguin. A further eight books, including the collections of essays Under the Sign of Saturn and Where the Stress Falls, and the novels The Volcano Lover and The Benefactor, are available from Penguin Modern Classics.

Among her many identities — novelist, playwright, film director and human-rights activist — Susan Sontag was perhaps most widely known as a searing intellectual. Her first work of nonfiction, Against Interpretation, published in 1966, was a sweeping assessment of art and contemporary culture — as well as an instant classic. With her insatiable appetite for creativity in all its forms, Sontag produces a collection of essays that is an ambitious work. Discussing everything from Sartre to camp, Godard to science fiction — the highbrow-lowbrow distinction wasn’t one that Sontag was concerned with — the book aimed to be a critique of modern thinking about art. In the title essay, Sontag makes the case against overintellectualizing art. Rather than dissect art and its context and consequently eviscerate its beauty, she argues that the beauty of art should be appreciated for what it is. The book was an immediate hit and established Sontag as an influential cultural critic.

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