OVERRIDE

Reborn

Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

Susan Sontag; Edited by David Rieff

Picador

"In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself."


The first of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, Reborn (1947-1963) reveals one of the most important thinkers and writers of the twentieth century, fully engaged in the act of self-invention. Beginning with a voracious and prodigious fourteen-year-old, Reborn ends as Sontag, age thirty, is finally living in New York as a published writer.

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REBORN
194711/23/47 
I believe:(a)That there is no personal god or life after death(b)That the most desirable thing in the world is freedom to be true to oneself, i.e., Honesty(c)That the only difference between human beings is intelligence(d)That the only criterion of an action is its ultimate effect on making the individual happy or unhappy(e)That it is wrong to deprive any man of life [Entries "f" and "g" are missing.](h)I believe, furthermore, that an ideal state (besides "g") should be a strong centralized one with government control of public utilities, banks, mines, + transportation
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REVIEWS

Praise for Reborn

"A fascinating document of Sontag's apprenticeship, charting her earnest quest for education, identity, and voice . . . What slowly emerges . . .  is a sense of Sontag's ferocious will. . . . She wanted to be a writer and would do almost anything to make that happen."--Darryl Pinckney, The New Yorker

"A portrait of the artist as a young omnivore, an earnest, tirelessly self-inspecting thinker fashioning herself into the phenomenon she will be . . . Her journal is her true first book, the story of a woman struggling with her consciousness."--Richard Lacayo, Time magazine

"A revelation . . . As do all the best critics, Sontag gave us new metaphors for how to read and see. Fabulously, surprisingly, Reborn shows she used that skill to understand her own pell-mell life."--John Freeman, NPR.org

"What's fascinating . . . is that the journal reveals and adolescent and, later, a young woman, in whom 'ambition'--in this case, an overpowering yearning to be surrounded by and immersed in literature and culture--vastly outeweighed, and seems to have overpowered, 'sexuality.' As she herself puts it in the last entry of this journal, 'intellectual wanting' was the equal of 'sexual wanting' "--Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Republic
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Susan Sontag; Edited by David Rieff

  • SUSAN SONTAG immediately became a major figure of our culture with the publication in 1966 of the pathbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation. She went on to write four novels, including the National Book Award-winning In America, as well as a collection of stories, several plays, and seven works of nonfiction. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004.

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Reborn

Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

Susan Sontag; Edited by David Rieff

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Picador

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