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Sontag, Susan (Author) & Rieff, David (Editor). AS CONSCIOUSNESS IS HARNESSED TO FLESH: JOURNALS AND NOTEBOOKS, 1964-1980. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 525 pages. Fine/Fine.

The second volume of the author's private journals, published posthumously. One of the greatest literary texts of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Presents the second of Susan Sontag's projected three-volume journals. While "Reborn" contains memorable one-liners from the prodigious writer/intellectual, "As Consciousness Is Harnessed To Flesh" has a brilliant aphorism on nearly every page, and definitively shows Sontag to be the writer-as-aphorist par excellence. Sontag was aware of this and struggled (in vain) against it because it left her deeply unsatisfied, and worried that she may never attain true greatness. It also helps explain why she often championed the most demanding, most difficult, and quite literally, longest works of art throughout her life (Wagner as well as Canetti, Syberberg's "Our Hitler" as well as Bela Tarr's "Satantango"). The sustained "long line" was what she yearned to achieve in her own work, which she always saw as work-in-progress. As soon as she achieved something worthwhile, the first thing she needed to do was surpass it, particularly her own immense natural talent for the aphorism, the fragment, "Notes on Camp". Her marathon-runner's project was to keep on changing and pushing herself, transcending the work-already-published. The imperatives of change, of keeping an open and ever-changing mind, of being able to experience the world-at-large in order to keep growing are the central themes of her published work and her journals: "Two kinds of people: Those who are interested in self-transformation and those who are not. Both require the same amount of energy. It takes as much energy to remain the same as to change" (Susan Sontag). These aphoristic sentences sum up accurately, and in a way that could not be improved upon, not just Sontag but the American experiment-dilemma-struggle itself. And for all her attachment (and indebtedness) to Europe, Sontag was deeply, profoundly American. An absolute "must-have" title for Susan Sontag collectors. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of relatively few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. 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 copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374100764. $50.00

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