As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag

82%

11 Critic Reviews

The experience of reading the diaries as her depression sets in again is strangely mesmerising.
-Guardian

Synopsis

This, the second of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, begins where the first volume left off, in the middle of the 1960s. It traces and documents Sontag's evolution from fledgling participant in the artistic and intellectual world of New York City to world-renowned critic and dominant force in the world of ideas with the publication of the groundbreaking Against Interpretation in 1966.

As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh follows Sontag through the turbulent years of the 1960s—from her trip to Hanoi at the peak of the Vietnam War to her time making films in Sweden—up to 1981 and the beginning of the Reagan era. This is an invaluable record of the inner workings of one of the most inquisitive and analytical thinkers of the twentieth century at the height of her power. It is also a remarkable document of one individual's political and moral awakening.

 

About Susan Sontag

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Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was the author of numerous works of non-fiction, including the groundbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation (FSG, 1966), and of four novels, including In America (FSG, 2000), which won the National Book Award.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 541 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh
All: 11 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by JAMES CAMPBELL on Jun 22 2012

The book is a testament to an implausibly wide range of reading, some of it...worth revisiting; but with a good deal of creaky opinion too.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Stokes on Mar 30 2012

The experience of reading the diaries as her depression sets in again is strangely mesmerising.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Feb 27 2012

America’s Simone de Beauvoir, Roland Barthes, and Simone Weil rolled into one, Sontag fascinates with her teeming interests turning in on themselves.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Anne Chisholm on Apr 24 2012

In its fragmentation and incoherence and passion, its combination of the erudite and the everyday, it is more true to life, both intellectual and emotional, than the most artful novel or careful biography.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Kates on Apr 29 2012

It was quite an escalator ride, and the views along the way were, at times, magnificent.

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Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by James Adams on Jun 29 2012

As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh is not going to result in any major re-evaluation of Sontag...

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The New Republic

Below average
Reviewed by Jed Perl on May 04 2012

Yet Sontag rarely shocks or startles us with the depth or the originality of her thinking or feeling.

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BuffaloNews.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeff Simon on May 13 2012

No one knew his mother like her son, on the other hand. And that’s what’s marvelous about this wild, chaotic, allusive book teeming with political and philosophical speculation, unavoidable ambiguity, enigma and aphorism.

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Herald Scotland

Excellent
Apr 29 2012

Susan Sontag was indubitably America's foremost woman of letters.

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Full Stop

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Luban on Apr 09 2012

Between the two we may get the writer in first person (first person plural); I doubt whether we get the writer naked. But that’s no reason to disdain Consciousness. Sontag cloaked is well worth the read.

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Bookslut

Excellent
Reviewed by Guy Cunningham on May 01 2012

She is a great critic precisely because she understands that criticism is a form of writing -- and that writing should always, always aspire to be an art.

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Reader Rating for As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh
92%

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