Monday, 1 February 2010

Mere Sontagisme

Here's an enormously amusing article about that old sacred monster Susan Sontag, similar in tenor and wry wit to Camille Paglia's uproarious dissection in Vamps & Tramps of the way that the great critic of Against Interpretation and Styles of Radical Will succumbed to narcissistic ego-bloat. (The title of Paglia's essay-cum-bitchslap, 'Sontag, Bloody Sontag', was worth the price of the book.)

I like Terry Castle from reading this. She has a fine sense of comic timing and self-mockery---on the way in which Sontag pressed her into service and driver and willing slave, she notes, 'I was rapt, like a hysterical spinster on her first visit to Bayreuth'. I'm going to get her big critical anthology The Literature of Lesbianism if it's anything like as fresh and witty as her journalism.

NB The above photo of Sontag is referred to in Castle's article.

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