Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947 – 1963
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  • Year: 2013
  • Language: Russian
  • Publisher: Ad Marginem
  • ISBN: 9785911031428
  • Page: 344
  • Cover: paperback

The early journals of American writer and critic Susan Sontag - author of the bestselling On Photography - were published posthumously in English for the first time in 2008. From the age of 14 until her death, Sontag kept a journal in which she reveals a highly critical sense of self-awareness and a sometimes merciless judgment of those around her. Whilst Sontag was reluctant to publish the diaries within her own lifetime, David Reiff, the writer's son and the publication's editor, considered it important that readers are able to view Sontag ‘as a young person, who self-consciously and determinedly went about creating the self she wanted to be.' Taking inspiration from this, Reiff titled the book Reborn - the word inscribed on the first page of one of Sontag's early journals.

 

The diaries offer a reflection on the complex process of writing, revealing Sontag's personal literary ambitions:

I write to define myself - it is an act of self-creation - part of the process of becoming - I am in a dialogue with myself, with the writers I admire living and dead, with imagined readers... Why is writing important? Mainly out of egotism, I suppose. Because I want to be a persona, a writer, and not because there is something I must say. Yet why not? With a little ego-building - such as the fait accompli this journal provides - I shall win through to the confidence that I have something to say, that should be said.

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