Susan Sontag – Debriefing

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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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mama, kordon ima uvek istog boga

padaavala

ali ja bih da imam unuče
već imaš jedno
da, al’ imam od sina
imaš od snaje i sina, mama
dobro…
šta ima veze od kog deteta je?
ima veze. nije isto. nije isto od sina i od ćerke.

………..

razgovor izmedju mene i moje mame ’96-e kada sam se prvi put zaljubila u devojku. samo je to ponavljala – da želi da ima unuče. od ćerke, kako je to rekla.
nepuna dva meseca posle tog razgovora – 17. novembra, počeo je studentski protest protiv miloševićevog režima kao odgovor na kradju glasova na te godine održanim izborima.
sećam se dobro te kasne jeseni i čitave zime koje sam provela na ulici. nosila sam samo dva para pantalona: tamne i karirane. i uvek tri jakne. bilo je ponekad ledeno. naročito iza dva ujutro kada je većina ljudi odlazila kući ili u zatvoreno da se malo odmori i ugreje. sivi najtopliji džemper…

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Dušo moja

padaavala

Roditelji su me učili da ne ulazim u lift sa ljudima koji mi se ne svidjaju.
“Pa šta kao mi stojimo ispred i dodje lift i kako onda da ne udjemo zajedno? Šta da kažem? Izgleda malo glupo…nisam sigurna da li bih mogla to da izvedem.”, kažem im.
“Nije uopšte glupo. Ako ti se neko ne dopada ili ga ne poznaješ, ne moraš nikada sa njim da udješ u lift. Možeš uvek da kažeš naprimer, da ćeš sačekati sledeći.”
Dobro, sa tom rečenicom sam bila zadovoljna. Zamišljam situaciju. Da, da mogla bih to da kažem nedopadljivoj nepoznatoj osobi kada se vrata lifta otvore.

Šesti razred, vratila sam se iz škole. Čeka me poruka da kupim novine. Jesen je, lep dan, nije hladno. Izlazim na ulicu u svom omiljenom zelenom rolka džemperu koji mi je ištrikala baba, crnim somotskim pantalonama, poludubokim oker čizmicama. Glava mi još pomalo vri od prepodnevne nastave…

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David Foster Wallace on the Costs of Becoming a Professional Tennis Player

must read!

Longreads

It’s better for us not to know the kinds of sacrifices the professional-grade athlete has made to get so very good at one particular thing. Oh, we’ll invoke lush clichés about the lonely heroism of Olympic athletes, the pain and analgesia of football, the early rising and hours of practice and restricted diets, the preflight celibacy, et cetera. But the actual facts of the sacrifices repel us when we see them: basketball geniuses who cannot read, sprinters who dope themselves, defensive tackles who shoot up with bovine hormones until they collapse or explode. We prefer not to consider closely the shockingly vapid and primitive comments uttered by athletes in postcontest interviews or to consider what impoverishments in one’s mental life would allow people actually to think the way great athletes seem to think. Note the way ?up close and personal? profiles of professional athletes strain so hard to find evidence…

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50 Essays Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

must read!

Flavorwire

It’s hard to be a person in the world today — or, really, any day, but today’s what we’ve got. Humans are striving creatures, and also empathetic ones, so most of us are always looking for an opportunity to improve ourselves, even in tiny, literary ways. We’ve already established that novels can make you a better person, but of course, novels also take you down a long winding road to get there. If you’re looking for a more direct shot to the heart, try an essay. After the jump, you’ll find 50 essays more or less guaranteed to make you a better person — or at least a better-read one — some recommended by notables of the literary and literary nonfiction world, some recommended by yours truly, incessant consumer of the written word. Don’t see the essay that changed your life? Please do add it to the list.

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How ‘sex, lies, and videotape’ Changed Indie Filmmaking Forever

Flavorwire

Andie MacDowell in "sex, lies, and videotape"

It began with three brief items in his notebooks. “A film about deception and lost earrings,” went one. “Everybody has a past,” went another. And finally, “Friend on the couch. Affair with the wife.” The filmmaker jotted down those three ideas in 1986; three years later, the movie those three ideas spawned became the sensation of the nascent Sundance Film Festival, the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and an international box office smash. The young writer/director was Steven Soderbergh, the film was sex, lies, and videotape, and its release 25 years ago was, author Peter Biskind would later write, “the big bang of the modern indie film movement.”

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“I Like Things That Look Like Mistakes”: The Perfect Imperfection of Frances Ha

gledati…

I Like Things That Look Like Mistakes

56-PowerDVD9 2014-01-08 02-33-35-41

A young woman in her late twenties pirouettes, jumps, and spins through the streets of New York City as David Bowie’s “Modern Love” pounds in her head, on the screen, and in our hearts. It is not only the city that sparkles in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, but Frances herself. Energetic, prone to folly, and warmly sincere, Frances is perhaps the best illustrated character to come out of film in ages, both a perfect fit for the contemporary environment she inhabits and yet timeless in how human she is.

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