Susan Sontag: 1933 – 2004


Susan Sontag – human rights activist, obsessed moralist, writer, cultural critic and radical feminist, died yesterday at the age of 71 from cancer. Guardian Obituary "Dark Lady"  of American Intellectual Life. The Times Obituary "Susan Sontag"

Suggested Reading  of Sontag’s works:

"Regarding the Pain of Others".  Photography and the representation of pain – very appropriate now as we are presented hourly with horrific images of the  human tragedy of a single force of nature – the Sumatra earthquake.

"Illness as Metaphor and AIDS as It’s Metaphors" – the former discusses the myths and FEAR around cancer and how they contribute to the suffering of patients – the second focuses on similar issues but this time on  HIV and AIDS

On life

"Be serious, be passionate, wake up!"

On America

"Lets not be stupid together"

Some of her more controversial statements:

On 9/11

"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilisation’  or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world’  but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower,  undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?"

On the white race

"the white race is the cancer of human history"

On literature and freedom

"Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom".