Monday, February 2, 2009
Susan Sontag: A Profile
I highly recommend this Times profile on the brilliant Susan Sontag.
"Then Sontag marries. The sequence of events is breathtakingly abrupt. She moves to attend the University of Chicago on a scholarship in the fall of 1949. In November she writes, “A wonderful opportunity was offered me — to do some research work for a soc[iology] instructor named Philip Rieff.” In the next entry, Dec. 2: “I am engaged to Philip Rieff.” A few pages later, after a trip to California to interview Thomas Mann, comes the entry of Jan. 3, 1950: “I marry Philip with full consciousness + fear of my will toward self-destructiveness.” And then she is on to “War and Peace” and Balzac and lists of works on theology. Her decision to marry Rieff is never explained or examined, and in fact she says nothing more about the matter, barring an ambiguous recounted dream, until she begins fulminating against the institution of marriage in 1956. The intervening years barely exist in the journals — five years dissolve in nine pages. The birth of her son in 1952 goes unrecorded; he makes his first appearance in an aside."
Find it here.