"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.
(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...
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