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A Unique Voice
on March 15, 2007
Reading this collection of essays is an exhilarating experience for anyone who cares about the ethical value of literature, as Sontag herself would say, the "seriousness" of literature. For Sontag was nothing if not "serious". This is not to say humorless, but always fully engaged, grappling with issues that she would return to time and again if her views changed or to clarify a point.
These issues, exemplified by this sterling collection of essays, range from the political to the moral to the literary (she would probably say the latter encompasses the former two). While her outspokeness frequently won her enemies, and her bluntness can be seen at times as insensitive, she was always looking inward to create a public person that she could admire, a strenuous egotism.
Readers of this volume can find her championing writers she feels have been neglected, criticizing the United States foreign policies and most notoriously, evaluating the attacks of 9/11 in yet further clarifications of her opinions.
The loss of this woman is incalculable; even when one disagrees with her(and at some points I am sure you will) you will never fail to find her challenging you to define your own point of view. Her aphorisms expand in widening concentric circles of thought, broadening your vistas with clarity and compassion.