Susan Sontag and Writing

This came to me from Austin Kleon’s online collection of wonderful things. He got it from Reborn Journals and Notebooks 1947 – 1963, from Susan Sontag. It is about what makes a writer.

The writer must be four people:

1) The nut, the obsédé
2) The moron
3) The stylist
4) The critic

1 supplies the material; 2 lets it come
out; 3 is taste; 4 is intelligence.

A great writer has all 4 — but you can)”;
still be a good writer with only 1 and 2;
they’re most important.

This is from an entry of December 3, 1961. The book, Reborn, covers her life from age 14 to 50. I know of Sontag from her monograph On Photography (1977) and Illness as Methaphor (1978). I certainly have a skewed view of her and her writing.

I flatter myself by self assigning being a moron. Well, a bit of a nut. The rest will need to come with more typing. If I flatter myself.

Writing is such a naked art. Everyone can see all of the things that are presented. While you do not know what they wrote and threw out first you do see what they came up with. It is all there, you know the words, Now to come up with the words you make in your writing.

— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k :: 2022-06-28

Leave a Comment