Susan Sontag A Susan Sontag Reader.
Introduction by Elizabeth Hardwick.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 446 pages, $17.95

A Susan Sontag Reader consists of the author’s own selection of the work she has published over the last two decades. A retrospective exhibition, as it were, it affords an opportunity to survey the development of a career and to evaluate the “content” (a word that Susan Sontag summarily dismisses from critical discourse) of a representative sample of what she evidently considers to be the best work she has done. It would be easy to characterize Sontag as a product of the countercultural protest of the 1960s. These were the years during which Sontag suddenly emerged as a critic whose opinions on virtually everything seemed to matter. She spoke to the immediate concerns of the decade in a “style” (a word whose value she inflated out of all proportion) that...


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