Regarding the Death of Others

My piece about David Rieff's book on the death of Susan Sontag is just up at The Barnes & Noble Review -- an interesting site, to be recommended on other merits than that, but still....The occasion inspires me finally to point the site out.

Sontag has been a major source of inspiration and ambivalence for me since the age of 16, which was not yesterday. Among other things I've written about her over the years are this review of a late collection of her essays (from The Washington Post) and this one about Regarding the Pain of Others (from Newsday).

The latter seems always to have gotten quite steady flow of traffic, to judge by the site meter -- a thing that for some reason has long made me think Regarding the Pain must be assigned a lot on courses.

Rita and I sat across the aisle from her at the NBCC awards ceremony in March 2004. She looked energetic if not exactly well. Rieff's book opens about two weeks later. I read it twice. It is a short book, but it took forever each time, because it really got under the skin.

February 1, 2008 10:31 AM | | Comments (4)



I'm in the midst of reading Swimming in a Sea of Death, and I'm grateful for this review, which greets Rieff's exploration of the clouded seas of illness and fear with an openness of heart missing from other reviews I've read.

Much appreciated. I am not, in general, a big admirer of David Rieff, by an means. But this seemed to be a powerful book. I haven't read any of the other reviews but will do so now.

I enjoyed reading your review and hope you won't take this amiss, but I can't help thinking that Susan Sontag, whose deep connection to French culture you rightly stress, would have been upset by your incorrect use of the language: rather than "La Morte du Susan Sontag" you should have written "La Mort de Susan Sontag" (and an editor should have caught the mistake).

Well, that's annoying, and I do know better, believe it or not. The typo should be corrected first thing tomorrow....

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This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on February 1, 2008 10:31 AM.

Soon Selling Review Copies to Supplement My Income Will Be a Thing of the Past was the previous entry in this blog.

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