Susan Sontag – Debriefing

“Don’t suffer future pain.” “Nothing can tear me away from this rock.” Susan Sontag

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Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP front cover
Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP back cover
Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP side 1
Susan Sontag, 1975

On this disc, American writer Susan Sontag, 1933-2004, reads excerpts from Debriefing, written in 1973, a text from her unique collection of short stories titled I, etcetera, published 1978. It was recorded in 1979 and released on LP by TANAM Press, a New York publisher of radical, theoretical and activist writings of the 1980s, including cult Korean author Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

For a long time better known for her essays, Sontag’s short stories are currently being reassessed by literary critics and at least her short stories can be viewed as a documentary on Chelsea’s bohemian life. The following passage from Debriefing (quoted by someone else on the web) is representative of the writing style:

All around us, as far as I can see, people are striving to be ordinary. This takes a great deal of effort. Ordinariness, generally considered to be safer, has gotten much rarer than…

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Bullet Point For An Interpretation of The Ocean at the End of the Road

  • Explicit references to CS Lewis’s books indicates intertextuality or links to The Chronicles of Narnia; parallells between those books and Gaiman’s book that I have found are: A good supernatural creature who can speak a perfect language that can create (the lion Aslan in CS Lewis’s story, Lettie Hempstock in Gaiman’s), a wicked female creature waken to life by a boy (Edmund and the White Witch in the Narnia-books, the protagonist and Ursula in The Ocean at the End of the Lane), a small water where one can travel between worlds (in the Narnia-books this is where the protagonists comes to when putting the supernatural rings on, in The Ocean at the End of the Road it is the pond that the book’s title refers to found at the Hempstock’s farm)