Novelist as Metaphor
How did Susan Sontag's self-identification affect her essays?
At the Same Time:
Essays and Speeches
by Susan Sontag
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Forty-eight hours after learning of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Susan Sontag delivered herself of a statement that was composed entirely of an indictment of the US government's response to the horrifying event. The gist of the piece, published in the New Yorker, was her disgust with the rhetoric pouring out of Washington. "The disconnect between what happened and how it might be understood," she wrote, "and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by virtually all our public figures . . . and TV commentators . . . is startling, depressing."
Many Americans (this one included) felt the same—even at the very moment that Sontag felt it—but that sentiment alone was not sufficient unto our day. Especially not for those of us who had been on the street in New York that morning
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