Susan Sontag (1933 -- 2004) was one of the most noticeable figures in the world of literature. For more than 40 years she made it morally necessary to know everything -- to read every book worth reading, to see every movie worth seeing. When she was still in her early 30s, publishing essays in such important magazines as Partisan Review, she appeared as the symbol of American cultural life, trying hard to follow every new development in literature, film and art. With great effort and serious judgment, Sontag walked at the latest edges of world culture.
Seriousness was one of Sontag's lifelong watchwords (格言), but at a time when the barriers between the well-educated and the poor-educated were obvious, she argued for a true openness to the pleasures of pop culture. In "Notes on Camp", the 1964 essay that first made her name, she explained what was then a little-known set of difficult understandings, through which she could not have been more famous. "Notes on Camp", she wrote, represents "a victory of 'form' over 'content', 'beauty' over 'morals'".
By conviction (信念) she was a sensualist (感觉论者), but by nature she was a moralist (伦理学者), and in the works she published in the 1970s and 1980s, it was the latter side of her that came forward. In Illness as Metaphor -- published in 1978, after she suffered cancer -- she argued against the idea that cancer was somehow a special problem of repressed personalities (被压抑的个性), a concept that effectively blamed the victim for the disease. In fact, re-examining old positions was her lifelong habit.
In America, her story of a 19th century Polish actress who set up a perfect society in California, won the National Book Award in 2000. But it was as a tireless, all-purpose cultural view that she made her lasting fame. "Sometimes," she once said, "I feel that, in the end, all I am really defending ... is the idea of seriousness, of tree seriousness." And in the end, she made us take it seriously too. 【題組】72. She first won her name through_______.
(A). her story of a Polish actress (B). her book Illness as Metaphor
(C). publishing essays in magazines like Partisan Review
(D). her explanation of a set of difficult understandings