Never has a book taken over my life so thoroughly, but I’m not complaining. Living inside Susan Sontag’s mind is maybe the best place of all to live.
“Gide and I have attained such perfect intellectual communion that I experience the appropriate labor pains for every thought he gives birth to!”
a book about how dictionaries are made and the stubborn, chaotic, ever-changing English language. Stamper is funny and frank, denouncing most “grammar” as the preferences of a few dead white men and constantly making room for English to change its meaning and functionality (irregardless is now in the dictionary) without bitterness.
“Humanity sets up rules to govern English, but English rolls onward, a juggernaut crusting all in its path.”
following my tradition of discovering an author in reverse order, I read Susan Sontag’s journals, then her short stories, and next I’ll move to the essays. I really liked these, many of them are autobiographical or experiment with form, and they’re all beautifully written.
“She once told an interviewer that while the living room is fine for essays, short stories needed to be written in the bedroom. This distinction between outer and inner sancta seems a good way of approaching the contents of this volume. The stories are her innermost work.”