Writer Susan Sontag Dies at Age 71
Writer Susan Sontag Dies at Age 71 (Reuters)
Author Susan Sontag, an almost lone voice of intellectual opposition to U.S. policies after the Sept. 11 attacks, died on Tuesday at age 71 at a New York cancer hospital. Sontag, who had suffered from leukemia for some time, was known for wide-ranging interests that included everything from French existentialist writers to ballet to photography to politics. “I can confirm she passed away this morning,” a spokeswoman at New York’s Sloan Kettering hospital said but declined to give any more details.
Sontag was the author of 17 books and a lifelong human rights activist, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages. Among her best known works was a 1964 study of homosexual aesthetics called “Notes on Camp.”
More recently Sontag has been an outspoken critic of President Bush over his response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and particularly the U.S.-led war in Iraq. She ignited a firestorm of criticism when she declared that the Sept. 11 attacks were not a “cowardly attack” on civilization but “an act undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions.”
So far as I can recall, I’ve never read one of Sontag’s books. And I certainly don’t agree with her politics. Still, her work had a major impact and it’s sad to die at the relatively young age of 71, especially from a brutal illness.
Update: Laurence Simon has, as his readers have come to expect, a somewhat less fuzzy take.