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Susan Sontag

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Susan Sontag Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was one of Americas first celebrity intellectuals. In the first biography to be published since her death, Daniel Schreiber portrays a glamorous woman full of contradictions and inner conflicts, whose life mirrored the cultural upheavals of her time.

While known primarily as a cultural critic and novelist, Sontag was also a filmmaker, stage director, and dramatist. It was her status as a pop icon that was unusual for an American intellectual: she was filmed by Andy Warhol and Woody Allen, photographed by Annie Leibovitz and Diane Arbus, and her likeness adorned advertisements for Absolut vodka. Drawing on newly available sources, including interviews with Nadine Gordimer, Robert Wilson, and Sontags son, David Rieff, as well as on myriad interviews given by Sontag and her extensive correspondence with her friend and publisher Roger Straus, Schreiber explores the roles that Sontag played in influencing American public cultural and political conversations.

Review:

"In this crisp and dispassionate biography, German critic Schreiber describes his subject's life — what Sontag herself called a project — as a series of self-inventions and calculated publicity stunts that sustained extraordinary intellectual stardom. While the chapter titles evoke major epochs of her life ('Camp,' 'Radical Chic'), the chronological structure delivers less of a narrative than an ongoing depiction of Sontag as a temperamental diva unable to achieve consistency in her creative output. Though he offers strong, brief analyses of her influential publications and broad, competent summaries of the cultural movements during her life, Schreiber appears puzzled by Sontag's 'status as intellectual icon.' Since he finds her work 'of questionable quality' and many of her later essays lacking 'intellectual intensity,' he accounts for Sontag's rise to literary eminence as a combination of sheer ambition and an avant-garde attitude that 'exactly suited the spirit of the times.' Annoyed with 'her tendency to mythologize her life,' Schreiber resists romanticizing his subject and ends up stripping his narrative of any warmth or insight. Still, Sontag's widely varied artistic interests, fearless, broad-ranging mind, and steadfast insistence on the value of art, intellect, and good criticism shine so vividly through Schreiber's carefully assembled sources that she exerts her own fascination on the receptive reader." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was one of Americas first celebrity intellectuals. In the first biography to be published since her death, Daniel Schreiber portrays a glamorous woman full of contradictions and inner conflicts, whose life mirrored the cultural upheavals of her time.

 

About the Author

DANIEL SCHREIBER is a Berlin-based writer. An art and literary critic, he contributes to numerous German and Swiss magazines and newspapers, including Die Zeit, DU—das Kulturmagazin, Philosophie Magazin, Litera turen, and Weltkunst, as well as the radio station Deutschlandradio Kultur. He is a columnist for the daily taz—die tageszeitung, and his essays on art and culture appear in a number of anthologies. He was previously contributing editor to Monopol and headed the culture section of the magazine Cicero.

DAVID DOLLENMAYER is emeritus professor of German at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is the winner of the 2008 Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for his translation of Moses Rosenkranzs Childhood: An Autobiographical Fragment.

 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780810125834
Author:
Schreiber, Daniel
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Author:
Schreiber, Daniel
Author:
Dollenmayer, David
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
20140831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » Literary
Biography » Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Susan Sontag New Hardcover
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Product details 296 pages Northwestern University Press - English 9780810125834 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this crisp and dispassionate biography, German critic Schreiber describes his subject's life — what Sontag herself called a project — as a series of self-inventions and calculated publicity stunts that sustained extraordinary intellectual stardom. While the chapter titles evoke major epochs of her life ('Camp,' 'Radical Chic'), the chronological structure delivers less of a narrative than an ongoing depiction of Sontag as a temperamental diva unable to achieve consistency in her creative output. Though he offers strong, brief analyses of her influential publications and broad, competent summaries of the cultural movements during her life, Schreiber appears puzzled by Sontag's 'status as intellectual icon.' Since he finds her work 'of questionable quality' and many of her later essays lacking 'intellectual intensity,' he accounts for Sontag's rise to literary eminence as a combination of sheer ambition and an avant-garde attitude that 'exactly suited the spirit of the times.' Annoyed with 'her tendency to mythologize her life,' Schreiber resists romanticizing his subject and ends up stripping his narrative of any warmth or insight. Still, Sontag's widely varied artistic interests, fearless, broad-ranging mind, and steadfast insistence on the value of art, intellect, and good criticism shine so vividly through Schreiber's carefully assembled sources that she exerts her own fascination on the receptive reader." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was one of Americas first celebrity intellectuals. In the first biography to be published since her death, Daniel Schreiber portrays a glamorous woman full of contradictions and inner conflicts, whose life mirrored the cultural upheavals of her time.

 

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