February 1, 2009

JAMES JOYCE DISEASE:

Sensibility under construction: Notes, journals reveal the young Sontag's growth (Liam Kennedy, February 1, 2009, Boston Globe)

In 1948, at the age of 15, Susan Sontag writes in her journal, "Can I never escape this interminable mourning for myself?" The question hovers over "Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963" as it records the development of a young intellectual consciousness in all its aching precocity. This question also indicates the inwardness of Sontag's passions, her self-lacerating submission to a life of the mind that is commensurate to the figure of the writer-intellectual she wants to become. "Reborn" is a remarkable chronicle of this act of self-invention.

People who spend their whole lives dwelling on nothing but themselves don't grow, they shrink. It's hardly surprising that as she disappeared into her own navel she hated the person she found within.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 1, 2009 9:55 AM
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