By Susan Sontag
First released in 1966, this celebrated book--Sontag's first choice of essays--quickly turned a contemporary vintage, and has had a huge impact in the United States and in a foreign country on brooding about the humanities and modern tradition. in addition to the identify essay and the well-known "Notes on Camp," Against Interpretation contains unique and provocative discussions of Sartre, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, science-fiction videos, psychoanalysis, and modern spiritual pondering. This version contains a new afterword by means of Sontag.
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Extra resources for Against Interpretation and Other Essays
Feeling spurned but intact, I was more likely to uphold my position in an imaginary debate with them; instead of telling me I was 'wrong', their red ink had to pass tests of my own. The joy of good writing days doesn't eliminate the devastating experience of bad days, and these may be as blackly depressing as the others are exhilarating (it's hard to say because good days Managing 31 bring a lovely amnesia and I'm writing this on a good day). Nevertheless, I've developed ways of coping when the words are sullen, when the possibility of hope seems absurd, when examination processes creep into my study and pronounce me a failure, when I'm only surprised it has taken people so long to discover that I'm a fraud.
They allow writers to work creatively in institutional settings, avoiding the half-lives of boredom and a blase attitude. This chapter has worked from the claim that sociologists should consider their own work sociologically. This self-knowledge cannot provide a conscious mastery over the academic life but it may point to more open and productive working methods. We have concentrated here on managing the pleasure of writing, but later chapters range over other aspects of sociological production.
It will address the ways in which writing and thought are inseparable, in connection with quite practical issues about 'how to write' and philosophical issues about writing. By moving between the practice of writing in a literal sense and metaphors for writing and the writer (and metaphors of writing, although there will be more of this in Reading), the very distinction between the literal and the metaphoric - implicit in sociological assumptions about writing will be put into question. Contemporary notions of writing the body will be discussed in connection with the practice of writing, issues about the relation between the body and metaphor, and the relation of the self to writing.