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Against Interpretation and Other Essays (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Susan Sontag
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A series of provocative discussions on everything from individual authors to contemporary religious thinking, Against Interpretation and Other Essays is the definitive collection of Susan Sontag's best known and important works published in Penguin Modern Classics.



Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between 'high' and 'low' art forms, and to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces 'Notes on Camp' and 'Against Interpretation'. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Lévi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis and contemporary religious thought. Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations of readers, and the field of cultural criticism, ever since.



Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was born in Manhattan and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels - The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America, which won the 2000 US National Book Award for fiction - a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.



If you enjoyed Against Interpretation and Other Essays, you might like Sontag's On Photography, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.



'A dazzling intellectual performance'


Vogue



'Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites'


The Times



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Review

'A dazzling intellectual performance.' Vogue

About the Author

Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels, a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, looks great on bookshelf. 29 Oct. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sontag is a genius, this is the book I wish I had when I was in high school so I could have argued slightly more persuasively that the english literature essays we were writing were pure rubbish.

Which, of course, is what every high schooler knows. Sontag just, well, proves it.

The other essays are really interesting - I like her writing style, and her ideas are wonderfully brilliant. Also looks good on the bookshelf, makes it seem like I'm a real intellectual!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! 19 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In my book Sontag can do no wrong. But then I am biased! Read these essays for yourself.

She was once described as the cleverest woman in America. Well, I'm here to tell you, that is still true - even though she is sadly no longer with us. her spirit and talent lives on in her books.

If you want clear, perceptive and insight-full essays, then this book is a definite 'must' for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars S. Santag 3 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sontag was a find for me and I am gradually reading through all her non fiction works, philosophical ones!
Clear insightful writer. Great thinker!
The book arrived all well, as described, well packed etc. nice purchase and will take a second reading some time!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading 23 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
used this book a lot in my dissertation to help me understand the sensibility of camp. is a bit difficult to read but it did help me loads. x
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard modern attitudes (mixed media) 29 Oct. 2011
Format:Hardcover
Looking at this 45 years on (crikey) one's hard put to see what all the fuss was about - yes, a stimulating collection of cultural-philosophical essays (reviews, actually, in the main) of the type there are so many of these days one thinks of them as belletristic, or maybe humanistic - I'm just now toying with Roger Kimball's Experiments against Reality, and Ozick plugs away manfully - but they don't sell like Sontag. I guess 'attitude' sums it up. Back then academic disciplines kept themselves to themselves; in making a pitch for the 'common reader' or 'educated public' Sontag made the whole thing hip and inadvertently spawned cultural studies. 'One culture' she talks about in the final piece and it's kind of come to pass. She represented a point in the demographic when the thirst for learning post-WW2 - both of the *culture* and the *understanding* varieties - met late 50s/early 60s affluence and everything got way more fun - both more 'important' and less serious. What excited me about the volume at the time (and overcame its forbidding title and vile mauve livery) was not 'Notes on "Camp"' (back then gays were still queers) or the knee-jerk trio Genet/Sarraute/Artaud (yawn) but the presence of *film* on equal terms with these literary heavies, and not Bresson/Resnais (yawn yawn) or the fatous survey of sci-fi film plots either (I tell you, Forbidden Planet was an insult to the intelligence of a 13-year-old in 1956 and retro irony has a lot to answer for*) but my beloved Godard - only one film, and very far from his best in my view, but still.. I now see that the article, all 10 pages of it but split into trendy Godardian numbered paragraphs, was reprinted from Moviegoer! Thus are reputations (hers) fabricated. An undoubted hotchpotch, if you like this you'll call it steely and if not, dry. Read more ›
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