(Art)Books we love | The Doors and Dostojewski

This week’s #artbookfriday book is not a classical art or picture book but a little paperback highly related to the art business.

The book consists of an interview with Susan Sontag (1933-2004). I had to read her book “About Photography” at university and been obsessed with her writings ever since. For me she was one of the most intelligent and fascinating women of the 20th century. She wrote very interesting essays about art and society. She was also 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 in her epoch-making piece “Against Interpretation”. If you’re looking for something to think about and to stimulate your brain Susan Sontag is always a good choice.

The published interview took place 1978 in Paris and continued in New York City where Rolling Stone journalist Jonathan Cott talked to Susan Sontag for the famous magazine. The interview took more than 12 hours, so there was no way it could have been published in the magazine as a whole. Only a third made it to print at the time. So it was published as a book after Sontag’s death and is now available in German. The interview is accompanied by an introduction and memories of Jonathan Scott.

There are no chapters and so I read it completely without a pause. It took my about two or three hours, I had to read some pages several times because the thoughts of Sontag are pretty complex and sometimes she refers to so many things at the same times or talks about philosophical ideas and theories that you have to look those up if you don’t know them yet or you won’t totally get her statements. It’s never easy to read her writings, not even as an interview, but it’s stimulating. So if you’re looking for an intellectual challenge this is something you should read.

About Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan and studied at the universities of Chicago (which she entered at the age of 15), 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.

About Jonathan Scott

Jonathan Cott is a journalist, editor and the author of numerous books, including most recently, Days That I’ll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He lives in New York City.

The Book

#book | The Doors and Dostojewski: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview

#author | Jonathan Cott

#language | German

#publishing house | btb (English original by Yale University Press)

#ISBN | 978-3-442-71362-2

#pages | 160

#published | 2016

you can get your copy here.

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