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Sontag, Susan. DUET FOR CANNIBALS. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1970. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 129 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

The author's screenplay of her first film. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in an extremely small and limited print run as a hardcover original only, it is now one of Susan Sontag's most scarce titles. She wrote and directed two full-length feature films in Sweden: "Brother Carl" and "Duet for Cannibals", both of which have earned a considerable cult-status following. Sontag once said that she would have accepted an invitation to direct a film in Afghanistan if that was the only chance to make her own contribution to the one art (other than literature) that she cared most passionately about. Her gratitude to her Swedish sponsors is unmistakable in the films themselves: "Brother Carl" is an homage to the films of Carl Theodor Dreyer whereas "Duet for Cannibals" is redolent of Strindberg, Ingmar Bergman, and even Vilgot Sjoman, whose conflation of political and sexual liberation is echoed in the film. The "message" of Sjoman's "I Am Curious Yellow" is that in order for it to succeed and endure, a political revolution must be a cultural one as well, especially in the realm of sex, clearly implying that all 20th-century revolutions were tragic failures (whereas California's Counter Cultural Movement, which was ruthlessly suppressed by American corporate culture in collusion with the media, remains influential to this day), the same conclusion Sontag arrived at ambivalently in "Trip to Hanoi" and unambiguously in "On Photography". Even the acerbic Pauline Kael, the New Yorker Magazine's resident critic, and the most influential American film critic of the 20th century, found "Duet for Cannibals" eerily disturbing, particularly a brilliant extended scene between a homeless person and the wealthy patrons of a restaurant. "A witty, bone-dry serio-comedy that fascinates and disturbs in turn" (Frederic Tuten). Susan Sontag died on December 28, 2004 at the relatively young age of 71, her work unfinished, a one-of-a-kind writer who is a heartbreaking, irreplaceable loss to contemporary life and literature. One of the ironies about her career is that despite her fame, readers and collectors never fully appreciated the magnitude of her achievement, that she is a writer's writer, and that she will endure long after currently fashionable and hopelessly provincial American writers are forgotten. A "must-have" title for Susan Sontag collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black fountain pen on the front free endpaper by Susan Sontag. This title has been out-of-print for a very long time. It comes with a copy of the original 4.5 X 3.0 inch film poster, the very first such copy we have ever found, which is in astonishingly fine condition. This is one of extremely few signed copies of the true First Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with black-and-white stills from the film. Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 for "On Photography", the National Book Award in 2000 for "In America", and the Jerusalem Prize in 2001. Shimon Peres, in awarding the Jerusalem Prize, described Sontag as "one of the world's finest writers and greatest minds". One of the most influential and important American writer-intellectuals of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374144249. $200.00

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