Susan Sontag: Against Interpretation (5527 words)


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“In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art” (14). Thus famously concludes “Against Interpretation”, the title essay of Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation and Other Essays (1966), a book whose oracular pronouncements are eminently quotable and easily mocked, if also endlessly compelling and productive to judge by the extended tradition of commentary Sontag’s never-out-of-print first essay collection has generated (see Shusterman and Rush). It is also, in my experience, a difficult book to draw conclusions from, or be conclusive about, especially given Sontag’s combination of “anthropological” and “occasional” procedures.

Most of the volume derives from reviews or review essays occasioned …

Citation: Poague, Leland. "Against Interpretation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2015 [, accessed 26 November 2020.]

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