Posts Tagged: susan sontag

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The Rumpus Interview with Brian Blanchfield

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Poet and writer Brian Blanchfield talks about his essay collection Proxies, touring in support of a prose collection versus a poetry collection, and frottage. ...more

Darryl Pinckney

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Darryl Pinckney

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If your family or your people are looking over your shoulder, change your seat or push them away. Ask them to trust you with the truth. ...more

Sontag Syndrome

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Over at Hazlitt, Alana Massey walks us through the anxiety that so often accompanies reading great thinkers, laying bare her own insecurities at the altar of famed writer and critic, Susan Sontag. When she finally does sit down to read the writer she had so carefully side-stepped, her worst fears are confirmed, and she is confronted—as so many of us will be—with the intense volume of all that she does not know:

But the devastation of learning that one’s work is unoriginal is not nearly as painful as watching the circumference of the gap in one’s knowledge expand outward from a single piece of missing literature to the limitless, insurmountable pile of works yet unread.

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Reading Mixtape feature

Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #10: Remember AIDS?

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AIDS isn’t over, but far too many think it is. Not everyone is haunted by remembering the dying, the friends gone gaunt, the lesions appearing, the artists dropping out of sight, the funerals, the lie-filled obituaries, the terrified waits for results of blood tests taken by nurses wearing masks and triple gloves.

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Treatment as Metaphor

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In our daily efforts to stay healthy, to invent solutions for staving off death, have we already put ourselves in treatment for diseases yet to come? Conner Habib writes about his cancer diagnosis over at The Stranger, challenging Susan Sontag’s argument against seeing illness as a metaphor by revealing the ways in which we can’t help but give it meaning:

We reach out to the hand that promises to pull us to shore.

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All Are Bad

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We’ve all read at least one: from “Against YA” to “Against Happiness,” essays that promise to dismiss entire abstract concepts using only rhetoric make for great click-bait. In The New Yorker, Ivan Kreilkamp explains why we keep overstating the case:

“Against [X]” is a symptom of a liberal culture’s longing to escape its own strictures; it’s the desire of thoughtful and nuanced people to shed their inhibitions and issue fearsome dicta.

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The Partisan Review, Digitized

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The Partisan Review, printed from 1934 to 2004, marked 69 years of cultural history in the US, with notable contributors such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Shattuck, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, and Robert Penn Warren.

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Susan Sontag on Art: Illustrated Diary Excerpts

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Rumpus contributor Wendy MacNaughton has teamed up with Maria Popova (of Brain Pickings) to illustrate selected excerpts from Susan Sontag’s diaries.

The artwork is available on Etsy as an 11×14 print on heavy cotton rag paper with razored edges in a limited edition of 300, signed and numbered, bearing a hand-stamped inscription on the back.

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Harnessed to Flesh

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At Tablet, Adam Kirsch explores the recently released second volume of Susan Sontag’s journal entries, As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh, which Kirsch argues “contain a human drama more fascinating than anything in her essays or her fiction.”

“…The utter sincerity of the diaries, the sense that Sontag is always able to speak honestly to and about herself, is what makes them such compelling documents.”

(Via The Book Bench)

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Being Sontag’s Assistant

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“Then the book was fin­ished, or at least a com­pleted man­u­script was turned in—as I was to learn, for Susan, the book is never fin­ished. We spent a week holed up in her apart­ment comb­ing through the gal­leys and then another with the page proofs, tweak­ing and mas­sag­ing the text.

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Literary Fashionables: The Cultural Theorist and The Sportsman

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Two hallowed New York intellectuals are The Rumpus’s next set of Literary Fashionables.  Susan Sontag and George Plimpton both circled the upper tiers of Manhattan’s literary society. And while exhibiting seemingly opposing aesthetics, both Sontag and Plimpton promulgated revolutionary ideas and modes of approach to writing that would impact literary stylists for years to come.

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Notable New York, This Week 2/8 – 2/14

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This week in New York, Harper’s presents “Love: A Rebuke” with Colson Whitehead, Heidi Julavits and Sam Lipsyte, Simon Critchley in bed with Cabinet’s Brian Dillon chatting about hypochondria, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Gignatic present the Greatest 3-Minute Rock ‘n Roll Story Ever, Adam Haslett reads from his debut novel, The Magnetic Fields perform, Zachary German and Tao Lin celebrate the release of German’s new book, and BOMB Magazine hosts its Winter Issue Launch Party.

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Sigrid Nunez Remembers Susan Sontag

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Here’s some weekend reading: Sigrid Nunez has written a beautiful memoir of Susan Sontag in the latest issue of Tin House. (The text is not available online, but I highly recommend you pick up this issue of Tin House: it’s a really good one.) Nunez was involved with Sontag’s son David, and all three lived together for many years, and much of the memoir is about that time, but Nunez and Sontag remained friends for years after their household split up.

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