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Notes on Sontag
Phillip Lopate

Book Description
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"[T]he book offers a multifaceted, challenging and vivid picture of an elaborate personality--all conveyed through a very personal lens."--Mihaela Culea, European Legacy

"A multi-level monograph that deals with her life and writings together and takes a deep bite out of the cultural issues that Sontag's journals merely make a dent in, such as her ability to make a fictional character out of herself and in fact to build a whole narrative style without recourse to psychology. Lopate is also a clear and careful writer of prose."--George Fetherling, Vancouver Sun

ENDORSEMENTS:

"Phillip Lopate is so sensible that we can overlook just how smart and audacious he also is. In Notes on Sontag, he manages a dazzling, melancholy anatomy as Robert Burton would have understood the notion, and his interrogation of Sontag is all the more impressive and resonant because this is a self-interrogation too, shrewd, ardent, skeptical, canny."--Robert Polito, director of the New School Writing Program

"Susan Sontag was an indispensable writer, and she has now been engaged by an equally indispensable writer whose essential charm, irreverence, and gift for the unexpected make him an ideal guide to Sontag's work. Lopate's book is at once intensely personal and rigorous, never less than passionate in its commitment to what is most bracing and individual in Sontag's writing."--Robert Boyers, editor of Salmagundi

"This is just what we need: a book on Susan Sontag by a writer allergic to hype and genuinely fascinated by Sontag's ideas and the implications of her cultural presence. Lopate is exacting in his estimates--able to praise and criticize with equal sureness. He speaks straight, from eye-level, as a literary colleague: he knew Sontag and has heard all the stories. More important, he knows the work and its subjects--the novels, films, and debates--deeply. Notes on Sontag is a portrait of the author; it is also a portrait of an era in American intellectual life."--Sven Birkerts, author of Reading Life: Books for the Ages

"Lopate and Sontag are an inspired pairing. Lopate has just the right distance on Sontag--neither sycophant nor peer--to write trenchantly and sympathetically about her achievements, but he's also unsparing about her occasional idiocies. Some of the best things in the book are the personal vignettes about close encounters with Sontag, where Lopate stands in for the reader and fan, often getting burned in the process."--Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College

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File created: 4/17/2014

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