A series of provocative discussions on everything from individual authors to contemporary religious thinking, Against Interpretation and Other Essays is the definitive collection of Susan Sontag’s best known and important works published in Penguin Modern Classics.
Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag’s first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art forms, and to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces ‘Notes on Camp’ and ‘Against Interpretation’. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, LÃ©vi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis and contemporary religious thought. Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations of readers, and the field of cultural criticism, ever since.
Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was born in Manhattan and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels – The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America, which won the 2000 US National Book Award for fiction – a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
If you enjoyed Against Interpretation and Other Essays, you might like Sontag’s On Photography, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
‘A dazzling intellectual performance’
‘Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites’