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Terry Castle on Sontag

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Fantastically good piece remembering Sontag in this week’s LRB, and lucky you, it’s not behind the subscription barrier. 

My favorite bit. Castle is dragged along on what Sontag calls "a real New York evening" and it turns out to be a dinner party at Marina Abramovic’s Soho loft. (Abramovic’s a performance artist, she’d "recently been in the news for having lived for 12 days,
stark naked, on an exposed wooden platform – fitted with shower and
toilet – in the window of the Sean Kelly Gallery.") Famous folk are there – Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson – and Castle’s naturally not getting much conversational play.

Here’s the line I liked: "True, Sontag tried briefly to call the group’s attention to me (with
the soul-destroying words, ‘Terry is an English professor’); and
Abramovic kindly gave me a little place card to write my name on."


Anyway, the funny thing is just how lost on the current generation of academics Sontag’s works are. I’d be willing to bet that not a single person in my cohort of English Ph.D. candidates on their way to assistant professorships (with a little luck) has ever read a single work by Sontag. Seriously. I’ve never heard the name come up either in seminar room or bar.

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 18, 2005 at 12:40 am

Posted in literature

One Response

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  1. ‘Reed (O great rock god of my twenties) stood morosely by himself, humming, doing little dance steps and playing air guitar. Periodically he glared at everyone – including me – with apparent hatred.’
    who could blame him? what a bunch of tossers


    March 23, 2005 at 4:36 am

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