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At the Same Time

Essays and Speeches

Susan Sontag; Edited by Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump; Foreword by David Rieff

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"A writer is someone who pays attention to the world," Susan Sontag said in her 2003 acceptance speech for the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and no one exemplified this definition more than she. Sontag's incisive intelligence, expressive brilliance, and deep curiosity about art, politics, and the writer's responsibility to bear witness have secured her place as one of the most important thinkers and writers of the twentieth century. At the Same Time gathers sixteen essays and addresses written in the last years of Sontag's life, when her work was being honored on the international stage, that reflect on the personally liberating nature of literature, her deepest commitment, and on political activism and resistance to injustice as an ethical duty. She considers the works of writers from the little-known Soviet novelist Leonid Tsypkin, who struggled and eventually succeeded in publishing his only book days before his death; to the greats, such as Nadine Gordimer, who enlarge our capacity for moral judgment. Sontag also fearlessly addresses the dilemmas of post-9/11 America, from the degradation of our political rhetoric to the appalling torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. At the Same Time, which includes a foreword by her son, David Rieff, is a passionate, compelling work from an American writer at the height of her powers, who always saw literature "as a passport to enter a larger life, the zone of freedom."

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Praise for At the Same Time

Praise for Susan Sontag:
 
"Susan Sontag is a powerful thinker, as smart as she's supposed to be, and a better writer, sentence for sentence, than anyone who now wears the tag 'intellectual.'" --Adam Begley, The New York Observer
 
"[Sontag is] one of our very few brand-name intellectuals. . .the bearer of the standard of high seriousness in a culture that has essentially capitulated to the easy lifting of the ironic mode or the ready clasp of pure entertainment." --Sven Birkets, The Yale Review
 
"Not only did [her work] serve what should be an essential function of criticism, that of introducing readers to new work, weird work, things they wouldn't ordinarily encounter . . . it did so in a notable un-weird manner. Thoroughly trained in literature and philospohy, Sontag applied the standard of the past--truth, beauty, transcendence, spirituality--to the new art of the sixties, with its alienation, extremity, perseverity . . . And the writing was marvelous--high-toned, Brahmin, but full of zest and the pleasure of performing." --Joan Acocella, The New Yorker 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Susan Sontag; Edited by Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump; Foreword by David Rieff

  • Susan Sontag was the author of four novels, including In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction; a collection of stories; several plays; and seven works of nonfiction. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004.
  • Susan Sontag Mikhail Lemkhin
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Available Formats and Book Details

At the Same Time

Essays and Speeches

Susan Sontag; Edited by Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump; Foreword by David Rieff

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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