Friday, January 29, 2016

Is it possible to like both Susan Sontag and Quentin Tarantino?

And yes, I am wondering whether Annie Leibovitz ever felt in the middle. (Oh, good news -- Annie Leibovitz is not dead! Really. I double-checked.) For a while, Leibovitz was Sonntag's lover, and the #1 celebrity photographer in the world, and Tarantino was the hottest celebrity in the world -- all at the same time. I have found photos of Tarantino by Leibovitz.

Hey, what the Hell do I know, maybe the three of them were great friends and it didn't bother Quentin that what what Susan wrote seemed to diss him.

Hey, what the Hell do I know, maybe Sontag loved Tarantino's movies, although some surfing seems to indicate that most people who know who she was and who he is seem to assume, as I have, that she really, really did not.

I felt a little uncertain about deciding that I hated Sontag (as a writer -- I never met her personally, and if I had, I'm the sort of person who can very easily hate the writing and love the person what wrote it) after having read just 2 sentences she'd written, but that was nearly 44 hours ago. Now I'm up to 12 sentences or more, and 11 of them made me want to throw the book and/or PC across the room, and the 12th was a cheap laugh at the expense of people suffering a very painful mental illness. There's no doubt about it any more: Sontag was the Hegel of the 20th century, a pretentious jackass who somehow became a worldwide superstar among would-be intellectuals.

(Look, I'm not even a huge Tarantino fan. [Like many other people, I find some of his work tediously pretentious -- hey, maybe he and Sontag bonded over their love of being unbearably pretentious! What the Hell do I know?] I have watched Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown over and over and I'll watch them again, but I'm not crazy about every one of his movies. But it seems to me that you have to be crazy not to see that Pulp Fiction was a Huge Cultural Event -- and in a good way. And the several sentences which I personally have read of Sontag's summary of cinema's first century, which was published in Parnassus 3 years after Pulp Fiction was released, read to me like the work of someone who either had never heard of Pulp Fiction, or wouldn't recognize a Huge Cultural Event if it caused her lover to repeatedly photograph its director.)

I'm so angry as a result of having ingested those 12 sentences in less than two days that I'm going to have to stop now. (Also, I have a couple of things that I need to do.) I might return to the subject of Sontag, or I might not. I don't know if it would be fair to her to continue to write about her writing having only read a dozen or sentences of it, and I don't know if it would be fair to myself to continue to read writing which I dislike so intensely. One need not drink the whole ocean to be sure that it is salty; on the other hand, if one stays hundreds of miles away from the ocean, one may not be the best qualified to write about it, nor necessarily the most interesting writer for those who like to sail.

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