It of the inner thoughts of one of the 20th "Century s big name intellectuals as she went through book after book and a couple of what were apparently really " s big name intellectuals as she went through book after book and a couple of what were apparently really self destructive relationships I m always afraid that reading the journals of an author will be rather like looking in their laundry basket a project
of nosiness than of intellectual curiosity but these were pretty interesting This is the first thing I ve read nosiness than of intellectual curiosity but these were pretty interesting This is the first thing I ve read Sontag and perhaps a strange place to start As reading njoyment the beginning was the most compelling as Sontag undergoes swift changes in her intellectual landscape and social life Her ndless list of books to read are all inspiring and act as doorways to other people to check out Kafka s diaries Gide The latter part is a little scattered but still filled with interesting and often pretty dark views into her psyche while leaving her family behind and having a seemingly unhealthy affair in Paris The journal format is very appealing to me right now maybe because of the honest and unfiltered thoughts that are put down It s interesting to see the various forms her thoughts take and observations on art society motion and intellect The first of three volumes of Susan Sontag s diary Reborn Journals and Notebooks 1947 1963 charts the development of a sharp intellect The volume follows the famous writer from her beginnings at the University of California Berkeley as a precocious sixteen year old undergraduate student to the time of her first novel s publication Reading lists story ideas and aesthetic judgments on film literature and art intermix with fast paced descriptive passages lengthy accounts of affairs with female lovers and musings about the tedium of marriage As the diary unfolds Sontag s observations on aesthetics become A Dirty Wedding Night: A Dirty Rockstar Romance Collection (Dirty, Book 2.5) ever thought provoking but her writings on herveryday life often come across as insular and dull This is the first of three planned volumes of Sontag s journals New Menopausal Years edited by her son David Rieff This volume covers the young and precocious Sontag from age 14 to 30 It s a period of learning for her though she already appears learnedThearly Faja (Naslouchač, entries are about 2 primary awakenings First is a blossoming intellectual strength through studies at Berkeley Oxford and the Sorbonne followed by a return to the U S and a professorship at Columbia Thearly 60s also saw her writing her first novel The Benefactor In addition these journal years are filled with her sexual awakening At Berkeley at 16 she recognized herself as a lesbian Later at Chicago she married sociology professor Philip Rieff and bore their son David In Europe without Philip she returned to an affair with Harriet her lover at Berkeley and later in New York was in a long relationship with Irene never returning to her marriageThe ntries are mostly notes lists and jogs to herself indicating directions she wanted to take Few ntries are developed into purposeful prose it s sometimes difficult to determine what she was thinking what her attitudes were at least in depth And it s difficult to follow details of her biographical narrative What is clear is a strong sense of increasing self awareness and xpanding interests If there s little about her writing these notes carry hints at what she was reading and interests If there s little about her writing these notes carry hints at what she was reading and and how it all influenced her Many of these ntries are intensely personal Confessional Difficult to completely understand her it s also hard to like her She whines complains bemoans Hearts Farthings every bump in her. Er journals and notebooks presents a constantly and utterly surprising record of a great mind in incubation It begins with journalntries and The Mount Shasta Mission early attempts at fiction from her years as a university and graduate student andnds in 1964 when she was becoming a participant in and observer of the artistic and intellectual life of New York CityReborn is a kaleidoscopic se. ,
I can t imagine Susan Sontag as a young person because I ve always ncountered her
As The Staggering Cultured To the staggering cultured to umpteenth degree uber cosmopolitan critic that she is in her ssays It s hard to imagine someone like that Greenwich ever being a kid The journals in Reborn start when she s fourteen and she s already complicated moody and painfully self conscious than most people four times her age You don t really see a development here as much as you get these brief staccato flashes of intensity and yearning as she struggles to interrogate literature film her husband her lesbian affairs being a single parent ad infinitum She has the same voracious uncompromising intellectual commitment to dissecting her personal life as she does to dissecting culture and art And she never criticized anything as harshly as she went after herself Three years ago The Guardian ran somexcerpts from an upcoming dition of Susan Sontag s journals and despite being at that time little to me than a massive literary reputation I was dazzled by her penetrating often brutal self dissection of her own personality and intellect I ven dared think I recognized a sensibility shockingly similar to my own Fast forward through several years and the journals a compilation of her Your Name Here earliest are here and yes my suspicions have been borne out Not that I d at alluate our intellectual abilities but I recognize and in a sense sympathize over the slavish desire of creating and shaping an Mate Me [If You May] (The Millennium Wolves, entire identity out of intellectualngagement and a systematic and largely self imposed True exposure to art and the humanities a desire always at war with the cravings for intense personalxperiencesThe reborn of the title hints at one of the main underlying themes of these journals the self creation Sontag undertakes from being the precocious teenager who graduated high school at 15 And Had Studied At Both had studied at both and University of Chicago before she was 20 to the woman on the brink of superstardom as a public intellectual by her A Fairly Honourable Defeat early 20 s These journals document a stunning amount of stuff and happeningsxploring and Fucking Trans Women embracing her lesbianism a whirlwind marriage and motherhood divorcescape to European bohemia and of course the steady volution of her intellectual abilities and persona Inevitably this leads to some uneveness in tone and content with drastic oscillations between cool academic analysis and rather hysterically pitched recounting of personal drama
she seems to have modeled her romantic yearnings on the European seems to have modeled her romantic yearnings on the European films she adored or as she records a friend of hers commenting on the characters of Nightwood But frankly that s how my and probably all our journals of those years read too no And so that long wait for the next volume to be released My reading is a hoarding accumulating storing up for the future filling the hole of the present Sex and ating are You Can Make Anything Sad entirely different motions pleasure for themselves for the present not serving the past the future I ask nothing notven memory of them had never underlined that many sentences in a book before What an important book to read when your life is a mess As I read Susan Sontag s journals I thought as is I think kind of inevitable where I was in my late teens and Life Leverage early 20s when Sontag was off cavorting with geniuses in Paris and reading dense German romanticpic poems in the original Let s face it I was probably ripping a bong in an atticSontag s journals fractured as they are are a remarkably portra. I intend to do Bulbophyllums; the Incomplete Guide, From A to WHY? everythingto have one way ofvaluating Alhambra experience does it cause me pleasure or pain and I shall be very cautious about rejecting the painful I shall anticipate pleasureverywhere and find it too for it is verywhere I shall involve myself whollyeverything mattersSo wrote Susan Sontag in May 1949 at the age of sixteen This the first of three volumes of Rocky love life Or she writes as though her love life is filled with trouble She loved hard agonizing over very xperience Writing her feelings DOWN HELPED HER COPE WITH THEM helped her cope with them as noting her scholarly advances allowed her to keep track of the path she climbed It s ually hard to relate to her learning Part of it is her The Infinite Air enormous intelligence At 16 at Berkeley she was filling her journal with challengingntries demonstrating this Continuing to do so because they were intended for her rather than a reading public they re not particularly helpful in helping us understand Sontag Tailored for her own use she doesn t have to The Spill explain how she got to the peak she s already there and writes in the knowledge she usedvery day The troule is at the top of peaks
like sontag sSontag s sometimes a cold wind blows across such a landscape filled with rock and wind Stark direct sunlight is wasted One comes to understand the journal reflects the kind of woman she probably wasSo in this first volume of journals we re able to follow the two parallel courses Pandoras Planet emotional and intellectual of this clever California girl from New York to Europe and back through lesbian affairs to marriage and motherhood to women lovers again from young Berkeley undergrad to Columbia professor and novelist It s uite a ride By 1961 Sontag disliked herself The reader may have reservations too but can t help finding her fascinating I am not myself with people but am I myself when alone That seems unlikely tooWhen reflecting on Kafka s diaries Sontag rightly writes that Kafka has that magic of actuality inven the most dislocated phrase that no other modern has a kind of shiver and grinding blue ache
In Your Teeth Sontag Also Praises The Clarity And Precisionyour teeth Sontag also praises the clarity and precision Gide s diaries remarking that she feels herself rapidly growing through reading them The charm of Sontag s diaries lies Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig? elsewhere I think simply in that they offer us a look into Sontag s constantly whirring mind When Sontagxcerpts Barnes description of a man whose face was one of those which for fear of misuse has not been used at all you get the sense that Sontag can t imagine a worse fate Whatever you think of her as an How To Win At Casino Gambling essayistnovelist public intellectual you can t help but respect Sontag s uestioning spirit She writes in onentry Remember My ignorance is not underlined twice in the journal charmingI don t know if these diaries are really worth reading as lbr they re mostly half formulated thoughts and lists but I know that the buzzings of Sontag s mind kept me out of my own head for awhile and I m grateful for that susan how DARE you read my mind like this the diary of a growing woman xploring both her Judaism and lesbianism while documenting her numerous cultural discoveries from movies to books to pieces of classical music composed of both intimate thoughts about repressed feelings and destructive relationships and general ones about literature philosophy art or ven love this book is as rich as Sontag s mind and lively life in NYC Paris and other places where she meets other great figures of the 20th century My desire to write is connected with my homosexuality I need the identity as a weapon to match the weapon that society has against me It doesn t justify my homosexuality But it would give me I feel a license I am just becoming aware of how guilty I feel being ueer Being ueer makes me feel vulnerable It increases my wish to hide to be invisible which I ve always felt anyway. Lf portrait of one of America's greatest writers and intellectuals teeming with Sontag's voracious curiosity and appetite for life We watch the young Sontag's complex self awareness share in her When Not to Build encounters with the writers who informed her thinking andngage with the profound challenge of writing itself all filtered through the inimitable detail of veryday circumstanc.