Home LIFESTYLE/FASHION Of magnificence, survival, criticism, love and ache: Why Susan Sontag will all the time be related

Of magnificence, survival, criticism, love and ache: Why Susan Sontag will all the time be related

Of magnificence, survival, criticism, love and ache: Why Susan Sontag will all the time be related


Susan Sontag dwelled between two worlds. One which was there and the one that would have been in all equity and evolution. The long-lasting essayist and author who handed away in 2004 intrigued many throughout cultures and communities together with her set of beliefs and disbeliefs and she or he disturbed many with how perenially related she might be. A private hero to many, Sontag touched up and lingered on topics like wars, freedom, civilisations, consumerism, struggling, violence, battle, artwork, literature, images, mental and emotional intelligence, tradition, betrayal, camp amongst many others domains with out imposing a spinoff fairly taking one by way of the collective journeys we soak up a lifetime. That cathartic type of writing, that sense of acceptance and the how brutally conscious and trustworthy Sontag appeared in her ideas was unimaginable by many.

Many writers in time have tried to protect and warn the progressing societies on previous errors and current failures and attainable future collapses however Sontag was a bit completely different when it got here to embody these developments. She was critical about every and all the things.

She wrote in her first experimental work, Benefactor, that was revealed in 1963 when a 30-year-old Sontag wrote, “The reality is all the time one thing that’s instructed, not one thing that’s identified. If there have been no talking or writing, there can be no reality about something. There would solely be what’s.” She challenged the deep-rooted habromania that thrived throughout societies and introduced in essentially the most bare method.

Biographer Benjamin Moser’s work, Sontag: Her Life and Work that not too long ago gained the 2020 prestigious Pulitzer Prize received us speaking once more of the enigma that the fearless author was. Decoding the interpreter might be very difficult however Moser bravely sketched Sontag with simplicity touching upon the not-so-simple realities, juxtapositions and fears that formed the life and writing of probably the most profound and trustworthy voices on the earth of writing.


The gray streak in her dense hair, the no-makeup iridescent face, the genderless wardrobe and people fiercely peaceable eyes created a complete world of assumptions as to how Sontag need to be seen earlier than being understood. Her sense of justifying magnificence was actually a revelation. She wrote, “Magnificence defines itself because the antithesis of the ugly. Clearly, you possibly can’t say one thing is gorgeous should you’re not prepared to say one thing is ugly. However there are an increasing number of taboos about calling one thing, something, ugly.” Even when it comes to how Sontag perceived the concept of affection by way of childhood, youth and accommodating relationships particular to her mirrored in her writings and should you learn into it, there stood a type of love that was protected but uncovered, yielded but negated. Sontag in a method was not fairly public when it comes to her private capability to like and be liked be it the lengthy relationship she shared with American photographer Annie Leibovitz or her son David Reiff. She wrote in Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963, “My emotional life: dialectic between yearning for privateness and have to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to a different.”


Not a agency believer in meliorism indicating on the hope for a greater world, Sontag caught to the vagary of it. The sense of private and non-private varies for a lot of however Sontag managed to deliver out the merger in essentially the most lucid method. In her work, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Diaries 1964-1980, Sontag wrote, “As a author, I tolerate error, poor efficiency, failure. So what if I fail a number of the time, if a narrative or an essay isn’t any good? Typically issues do go effectively, the work is nice. And that’s sufficient. It’s simply this perspective I don’t have about intercourse. I don’t tolerate error, failure—subsequently I’m anxious from the beginning, and subsequently I’m extra more likely to fail. As a result of I don’t have the arrogance that a number of the time (with out my forcing something) will probably be good.”

Because the world is battling a world pandemic and the concept of residing and surviving is altering by the minute, one solely needs that Sontag was right here to witness it and information us by way of such unpredictable and fragile occasions. To dissect and reveal every kind of ache, technique of survival and learn how to personal a way of acceptance and dwell with it.

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