Thursday, January 17, 2008

Susan Sontag

While I've heard of Susan Sontag, I've never read any of her work.

I was reminded of her while listening to a podcast of the ABC's literature program, The Book Show.

They were discussing a collection of some of her essays and speeches that has recently been published, entitled At The Same Time.

The program included this quote from an article of hers in The New Yorker, just after the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, which caused more than a little controversy ...
"Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on 'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq?

And if the word "cowardly" is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others.

In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): Whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday's slaughter, they were not cowards."

She's now firmly on my radar.

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