Magazine
Latest Issue

The Sontag essay

The late Susan Sontag practised cultural forms promiscuously. The one which made her great was the essay, and the theme she made her own was pain

By David Herman   February 2005

Like Zelig, Susan Sontag was where the action was. In the late 1950s, she was in Paris during the heyday of Godard and Truffaut. She was back in New York in the early 1960s, enthusing about Andy Warhol and John Cage. In the late 1960s, she travelled to Hanoi. In the 1970s, she took part in the famous debate about feminism with Norman Mailer and Germaine Greer in New York. In the Reagan years she denounced communism, and in the 1980s celebrity culture there she was on the cover of Vanity Fair. She wrote about Aids at the height of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect