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Summary

Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic.

Originally published in 1966, it has never gone out of print and has influenced generations of readers all over the world.

It includes the famous essays "Notes on Camp" and "Against Interpretation," as well as, her impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious thought.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Against Interpretation and Other Essays

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Strident, polemical, high pitched voice that made listening impossible.
Recommend a more mature reader for the text as this one has a little girl’s twang with self-conscious earnestness.

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  • Dulce Mattos
  • 14-08-19

Against interpretation, like, literally.

Sontag's ideas are way more spirituous than this interpretation by Tavia Gilbert. Not only that, but an additional detail: this narrator doesn't pronounce french properly and, since Sontag cites lots of french authors and ouvres, this fact takes me away from the listening every time the opportunity rises.

9 people found this helpful

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  • john burke
  • 20-11-20

Excellent Essays Hurt By Labored Narrator

I just don't get this narrator. It's almost like she's trying to channel Susan Sontag but Sontag spoke in an assured, even tone.....This Tavia Gilbert makes her sound somehow snobbish and unsure of herself. She really clings to the sound ending a sentence....maybe this is for enunciation but comes across labored, irritating and untrue to Sontag's speaking style.

I've listened to Jennifer Van Dyck's reading on Sontag's journals and "On Photography". Audible PLEASE HAVE THESE RE-RECORDED with Jennifer Van Dyck.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Fiammetta Rey
  • 26-02-22

Worthwhile as a historical document?

She wrote from a place of looking at a world where things were just starting to open up in certain ways, and her perspective a lot of the time seems to be “wait, is this really as open as you think it is? Is it really possible to live without those traditional restrictions, or were our ancestors right that those restrictions are hard-baked into the fabric of the universe?”

In a time some 50-60 years later where more things have opened up, but people — intellectually limited people who have never lived outside of America and Europe, never lived outside of the dominance of the tyranny of YHWH-worshippers — are still asking the same questions, doubting whether or not openness is really possible, these essays seem restrictive.

On the other hand, no one asks deep questions at all anymore. They just live their lives with a fake façade of openness when deep down, they’re terrified of anything outside of the cultural boundaries they’ve been taught.

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  • Pinklotuspolo
  • 28-02-22

Distracting Reader serious writing

Sontag is smart and her writing will get your gears turning. The French was difficult to understand which was annoying

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  • jdk
  • 21-07-21

Sublime Sontag

In Against Interpretation Susan Sontag delivers a series of essays and reviews in her inimical, prolix style. It is an avalanche of focused free association punctuated with francophone, continental, cinephile references, philosophy, psychology, art and erudition.

There is little pause for a reader as her dancing mind leaps and pirouettes across themes and categories without detailed definition or stepwise argument. Keep Up! is always the imperative.

Forefend interpretation, her words are a revelation of her art, a sensibility of a mind. Awesome.

Her thoughts on race, culture, anthropology and the writing of James Baldwin failed to persuade, and may even offend in it's callous immaturity and doublespeak. The Shoa is attrocity; 20th century colonial genocide of Amazonian indigenes is "extinction". Regarding the Pain of Other provides, perhaps, a revaluation of her prejudice.