Susan Sontag: Where the Stress Falls

“Is there a greater privilege than to have a consciousness expanded by, filled with, pointed to, literature?”

“Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the ‘real’ everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are so much more. They are a way of being fully human.”

“If books disappear, history will disappear, and human beings will also disappear.”

…a citizen of literature — which is an international citizenship.

“Reading usually precedes writing.”

“A writer is first of all a reader.”

“…to write is to practice, with particular intensity and attentiveness, the art of reading.”

“But one can write as one pleases — a form of liberty.”

“Writing is, finally, a series of permissions you give to yourself to be expressive in certain ways. To invent. To leap. To fly. To fall… to find your own inner freedom.”

International Women’s Day finds me mid-Sontag. As you can see, it’s a beautiful place to be.

Happy Women’s Day! May you celebrate Woman everyday! 🤍

Postscript: I have finally finished reading the book, and this reader is left overflowing. Reading, writing, art, dance, music, photography, theatre, travel — this book brims with profound thoughts on what she cared about. She takes your hand and leads you to art, and shows you why it matters, despite a world that tries to convince us otherwise. If there is such a thing as a definitive Sontag, this must be it.