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Sontag, Susan (Subject/Writer) & Lopate, Phillip (Author). NOTES ON SONTAG. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 247 pages. Fine/Fine.

Book-length account on subject. It is also, significantly, the inaugural volume of Princeton University's "Writers On Writers" Series. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now scarce. The DJ Cover shows an iconic portrait of Susan Sontag by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Presents Phillip Lopate's "Notes On Sontag". A gem of a book that one will admire, agree, and argue with. It inaugurates the brilliant Series with a bang: A well-known (living) writer commissioned by Princeton University to write a concise book about another (dead) writer. The living writer is free to choose his or her subject - and writing style (criticism, memoir, biography, even "meta-fiction", or all of the above). Lopate chose to combine formal criticism with personal recollections of Susan Sontag, whom he knew, but did not consider a friend or even a colleague. His title is a knowing allusion to Sontag's single most famous essay, "Notes On Camp", which established her as the "foremost interpreter of our contemporary moment". Lopate is admirably and genuinely humble in describing himself as a "mid-list" writer (he is much more than this) whereas he considers Sontag, who was in close proximity with him as a fellow New Yorker and writer, a cultural phenomenon. "Phillip Lopate is so sensible that we can overlook just how smart and audacious he also is. In 'Notes On Sontag', he manages a dazzling, melancholy anatomy as Robert Burton would have understood the notion, and his interrogation of Sontag is all the more impressive and resonant because this is a self-interrogation, too. Shrewd, ardent, skeptical, canny" (Robert Polito). An absolute "must-have" title for Susan Sontag and Phillip Lopate collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the half-title page by Phillip Lopate. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Lopate's signature on this copy is the best we have ever seen. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant critics of our time on one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG AND PHILLIP LOPATE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0691135703. $70.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 15, 2019.