The Mythical Susan Sontag

September 25, 2019

Much myth surrounds Susan Sontag, but how well did her readers actually know her? The Paris Review shares the introduction from Benjamin Moser’s new book, Sontag: Her Life and Work, which shows the ways Sontag fled into her own mind to escape an awful reality. “Many who encountered the actual woman were disappointed to discover a reality far short of the glorious myth. Disappointment with her, indeed, is a prominent theme in memoirs of Sontag, not to mention in her own private writings. But the myth, perhaps Sontag’s most enduring creation, inspired people on every continent who felt that the principles she insisted upon so passionately were precisely those that elevated life above its dullest or most bitter realities.”

Image credit: Lynn Gilbert

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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