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Regarding the Pain of Others
Susan Sontag
0312422199
February 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Twenty-six years after the publication of her influential collection of essays On Photography (1977), Sontag (In America) reconsiders ideas that are "now fast approaching the status of platitudes," especially the view that our capacity to respond to images of war and atrocity is being dulled by "the relentless diffusion of vulgar and appalling images" in our rapaciously media-driven culture. Sontag opens by describing Virginia Woolf's essay on the roots of war, "Three Guineas," in which Woolf described a set of gruesome photographs of mutilated bodies and buildings destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Woolf wondered if there truly can be a "we" between man and woman in matters of war. Sontag sets out to reopen and enlarge the question. "No `we' should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other...


Don McCullin
Don McCullin
0224071181
July 2003
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
McCullin is a gifted and relentless photographer with an unlimited empathy for human beings facing hardship. Page by page, he shows us workers, drafted soldiers, and Third World people mired in constant struggle. There is no joy in this book, just the recording of hard lives carried out in silent dignity. McCullin, who provided front-line images for the Sunday Times Magazine from 1966 to 1984, presents this impressive retrospective in chronological order, covering the last four decades of the 20th century. Working in black and white, he shows us wars in Cyprus, Vietnam, Beirut, and Congo. In northern England, he shows the battles between people and their environment, a sooty mess of slag and clouds. In Bangladesh, Biafra, and India, he gives us the visual truth of famine. His most shocking and memorable photos are...


The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
American Heritage Editors
0395825172
January 2000
Hardcover
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Book Review
The latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is out, and that's hot news--not just for the resolute followers of lexicographical minutiae, but for the general reading and writing public as well. Why? Because the American Heritage is a long-standing favorite family dictionary (never underestimate the value of pictures) and one of the prime dictionary references for magazines, newspapers, and dot.com content providers. For scads of writers and editors across the U.S., it sets the standard on matters of style and lexicographical authority.

So this new edition is exciting and noteworthy, but how good is it? In its favor, the fourth edition is as current a dictionary as you can get. It's six years fresher than the 1994 version, with 10,000 words and definitions you won't find in the still venerable but now slightly...



The Temptation to Exist
E. M. Cioran
0226106756
July 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
This collection of eleven essays originally appeared in France thirty years ago and created a literary whirlwind on the Left Bank. Cioran writes incisively about Western civilizations, the writer, the novel, mystics, apostles, and philosophers.

"A sort of final philosopher of the Western world. His statements have the compression of poetry and the audacity of cosmic clowning."--Washington Post

"An intellectual bombshell that blasts away at all kinds of cant, sham and conventionality. . . . [Cioran's] language is so erotic, his handling of words so seductive, that the act of reading becomes an encounter in the erogenous zone."--Jonah Raskin, L.A. Weekly


E. M. Cioran (1911-1995) was born and educated in Romania and lived in Paris from 1937 until his death. He is the author of...


In America
Susan Sontag
0641641842

Paperback
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Manhood
Michel Leiris
0226471411
June 1992
Paperback
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Book Description
"Not only one of the frankest of autobiographies, but also a brilliantly written book, Leiris' Manhood mingles memories, philosophic reflections, sexual revelation, meditations on bullfighting, and the life-long progress of self-discovery."--Washington Post Book World

"Leiris writes to appall, and thereby to receive from his readers the gift of a strong emotion--the emotion needed to defend himself against the indignation and disgust he expects to arouse in his readers."--Susan Sontag, New York Review of Books




On Photography
Susan Sontag
0312420099
August 2001
Paperback
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Review
"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years."—Washington Post Book World

"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way."The New York Times Book Review

"A book of great importance and originality . . . All future discussion or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies are now bound to begin with her book."—John Berger

"Not many photographs are worth a thousand of [Susan Sontag's] words."—Robert Hughes, Time

"After Sontag, photography must be written about not only as a force in the arts, but as one that is increasingly powerful in the...


The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag
Edward Field
029921320X
Dec 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Poet Field has been in the midst of Greenwich Village's bohemian life since 1946, when he moved there, fresh from the armed forces, at the age of 22. These 25 short essays and sketches ramble nicely over the years and through his friendships to form a memoir that is more nostalgic than intellectually vigorous. The thread that connects most of these chatty stories is Field's close relationship with the enigmatic, unstable Alfred Chester, a writer of elegant, rarefied fiction who throughout his life and after his death in 1971 has maintained a cult status as a writer's writer. It's Chester, with his intense relationships with Cynthia Ozick, Harriet Sohmers and Susan Sontag—whom he, possibly skirting a mental breakdown, had decided to marry even though he was a homosexual—who takes up the emotional bulk...


Illness as Metaphor and Aids and Its Metaphors
Susan Sontag
0312420137
August 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
"In Illness as Metaphor , Sontag argues that the myths and metaphors surrounding disease can kill by instilling shame and guilt in the sick, thus delaying them from seeking treatment," wrote PW. She sees, and discusses provocatively, a similar process at work in the case of AIDS. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review
"Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor was the first to point out the accusatory side of the metaphors of empowerment that seek to enlist the patient's will to resist disease. It is largely as a result of her work that the how-to health books avoid the blame-ridden term 'cancer personality' and speak more soothingly of 'disease-producing lifestyles' . . . AIDS and Its Metaphors...


Ferdydurke
Witold Gombrowicz
0300082398
Aug 2000
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This masterpiece of European modernism was first published in 1937, and so arrived on the literary scene at an inopportune moment. First the Second World War, then Russian domination of Gombrowicz's Poland and the author's decades of exile in Argentina all but expunged public awareness of a novel that remains a singularly strange exploration of identity, cultural and political mores, and eros. Joey Kowalski narrates the story of his transformation from a 30-year-old man into a teenage boy. Joey awakens one morning gripped by fear when he perceives a ghost of himself standing in the corner of his room. He orders the ghost, whose face "was all someone else'sAand yet it was I," to leave. When the ghost is gone, Kowalski is driven to write, to create his own "oeuvre," to be "free to expound [his] own views." A...


Susan Sontag
Leland A. Poague
0824057317
May 2000
Hardcover
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Choice
"Recommended for graduates and falculty in English and women's studies."

Review
"Recommended for graduates and falculty in English and women's studies."
–Choice



See all Editorial Reviews


Ferdydurke
Witold Gombrowicz
0300082401
Aug 2000
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
This masterpiece of European modernism was first published in 1937, and so arrived on the literary scene at an inopportune moment. First the Second World War, then Russian domination of Gombrowicz's Poland and the author's decades of exile in Argentina all but expunged public awareness of a novel that remains a singularly strange exploration of identity, cultural and political mores, and eros. Joey Kowalski narrates the story of his transformation from a 30-year-old man into a teenage boy. Joey awakens one morning gripped by fear when he perceives a ghost of himself standing in the corner of his room. He orders the ghost, whose face "was all someone else'sAand yet it was I," to leave. When the ghost is gone, Kowalski is driven to write, to create his own "oeuvre," to be "free to expound [his] own views." A...


Against Interpretation: And Other Essays
Susan Sontag
0312280866
August 2001
Paperback
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Carlos Fuentes
"Susan Sontag's essays are great interpretations, and even fulfillments, of what is really going on."

Review
"Susan Sontag's essays are great interpretations, and even fulfillments, of what is really going on."--Carlos Fuentes

"A dazzling intellectual performance."--Vogue

"Susan Sontag is a writer of rare energy and provocative newness."--The Nation

"The theoretical portions of her book are delightful to read because she can argue so well. . . . Her ideas are consistently stimulating."--Commentary

"She has come to symbolize the writer and thinker in many variations: as analyst, rhapsodist, and roving eye, as public scold and portable conscience."--Time


In America
Susan Sontag
0312273207
May 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
As an essayist, Susan Sontag has tended to stick pretty rigorously to the modern age, whether she's anatomizing the wild world of camp or roasting Leni Riefenstahl over the coals. But in her fiction--particularly in such fin-de-siècle productions as The Volcano Lover--she's clearly felt the allure of the past. And In America, which chronicles the travails of a late-19th-century actress, shows Sontag in top time-traveling form. What's more, it illuminates her motives for glancing so persistently backward. "Almost everything good seems located in the past," she notes in a first-person prologue, "perhaps that's an illusion, but I feel nostalgic for every era before I was born; and one is freer of modern inhibitions, perhaps because one bears no responsibility for the past." There's nothing, it seems, like the age of...


Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century
Peter Watson
0060084383
August 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Just as the 20th century dawned with an unparalleled optimism regarding the moral, social and scientific progress of humanity, it ended with an unshakeable confidence in the promises of technology and the power of free-market economics to deliver a better life for all humankind. British journalist Watson's (War on the Mind; The Caravaggio Conspiracy; etc.) panoramic survey traces various 20th-century ideas and their power to bend and shape society and individuals. At a frenetic pace, he gallops through the modern intellectual landscape, pausing long enough to graze the founts of philosophy (from Wittgenstein to Richard Rorty to Alasdair MacIntyre), literature (Kafka, Woolf, Mann, Rushdie), literary criticism (F.R. Leavis to Jacques Derrida), art (Picasso to Warhol), economics (Milton Friedman to John Kenneth...


By Night in Chile
Roberto Bola¿o
0811215474
November 2003
Paperback
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New York Times, Larry Rohter
Bolano's reputation and legend are in meteoric ascent.

Susan Sontag
A wonderful and beautifully written book by a writer who has an enviable control over every beat. (The Manchester Guardian)

See all Editorial Reviews


The Volcano Lover
Susan Sontag
0312420072
Aug 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Focusing on the famous love triangle between British envoy Sir William Hamilton, his wife Emma and her lover Lord Nelson, Sontag's intellectual historical romance, a 10-week PW bestseller in cloth, paints an unconventional portrait of 18th-century society. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal
The astringently intellectual Sontag here turns to lush historical romance based on the real-life triangle of Sir William Hamilton, his wife Emma, and Lord Nelson. The English ambassador to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the late 1700s, the Cavaliere is an exacting collector of antiquities and a frequent visitor to Mount Vesuvius. When his devoted wife Catherine dies, he becomes enamored of...


Under the Sign of Saturn
Susan Sontag
0312420080
Nov 2002
Paperback
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Review
“In this collection, Sontag masters all she chooses to survey. She is a noble appreciator. Integrity, wholeness, large-sighted vision are intrinsic to Sontag’s care for the intellectual life....Under the Sign of Saturn includes two long articles that belong together: the famed, polemical, whipping of Leni Riefenstahl’s laundered reputation and camp cult of fascist art, and her stunning analysis of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s Hitler, a Film from Germany.... After this feast, I am eager for her thoughts on anything.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“A self-described ‘besotted aesthete’ and ‘obsessed moralist,’ Sontag, more than most writers of her generation, views the everyday business of thinking and feeling as dialectical aspects of one another....


Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
Jean Hatzfeld
0374280827
June 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This book features the testimony of 10 friends from the same village who spent day after day together, fulfilling orders to kill any Tutsi within their territory during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. While their anecdotes are shocking at first, they detail how an ordinary person with an everyday life in a farming village can be transformed into a killer. As one man explains, "if you must obey the orders of authorities, if you have been properly prepared, if you see yourself pushed and pulled, if you see the killing will be total and without disastrous consequences for yourself, you feel soothed and reassured." A reporter for Paris's Libération, Hatzfeld has a remarkable ability to pry into the killer's memory and conscience. One Hutu tells how "a pain pinched his heart" when confronted with an old Tutsi soccer...

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