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Quotations From SUSAN SONTAG

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  • AIDS obliges people to think of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. AIDS and Its Metaphors, ch. 7 (1989).

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  • The ideology of capitalism makes us all into connoisseurs of liberty—of the indefinite expansion of possibility.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. AIDS and Its Metaphors, ch. 7 (1989).
  • Societies need to have one illness which becomes identified with evil, and attaches blame to its "victims."
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. AIDS and Its Metaphors, ch. 1 (1989).

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  • It was like taking a beloved person to the airport and returning to an empty house. I miss the people. I miss the world.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. author. As quoted in the New York Times Magazine, "Susan Sontag Finds Romance," by Leslie Garis (August 2, 1992). On leaving the last section of her latest novel, The Volcano Lover, at her publisher's office.

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  • For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obsene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Illness As Metaphor, ch. 7 (1978).

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  • I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Quoted in Time Out (London, August 19, 1992).

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  • What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Originally published in Partisan Review (New Brunswick, NJ, 1964). Notes on "Camp," note 9, Against Interpretation (1966).

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  • Intelligence ... is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. "Notes on 'Camp'," Against Interpretation (1964, repr. 1966).
  • The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to "the serious." One can be serious about the frivolous, frivolous about the serious.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. repr. In Against Interpretation (1966). "Notes on 'Camp'," note 41 (1964).
  • Nature in America has always been suspect, on the defensive, cannibalized by progress. In America, every specimen becomes a relic.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. "Melancholy Objects," On Photography (1977).

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