Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview

Jonathan Cott. Yale Univ., $26 (168p) ISBN 978-0-300-18979-7
Cott (Days That I Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono), a founding contributing editor of Rolling Stone, presents the full text of an interview he conducted in 1978 with Sontag, which was excerpted in the magazine in 1979. Conducted over several months, in Paris and New York, the interview provides a compact, complex, and critical portrait of the author of Against Interpretation and On Photography, who died in 2004. Through his insightful questions, as well as in his preface and recollections, Cott shows Sontag as a force of cultural consciousness. The interview takes readers through her views on a range of subjects, including physicality and illness, rock and roll, feminism, love and relationships, sexuality, spirituality, geography, and the writer’s life. Though at times, Sontag’s tendency to speak “not in sentences but in measured and expansive paragraphs” makes it difficult to follow the discussion, the book will be a great resource for longtime followers of the critic and novelist, as well as for those encountering this great mind for the first time. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/26/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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