A Big New Biography of Susan Sontag Digs to Find the Person Beneath the Icon


Moser was notably eager to interview Leibovitz, who had beforehand not spoken about the relationship in public, and repeatedly informed Moser that she didn’t have time to discuss to him. “At a certain point I thought: ‘O.K., fine, I’m not going to stalk this person. It’s her partner; I have to respect that,’” Moser mentioned.

Then, a number of years in the past, Moser was strolling down the avenue in Paris and acquired a name from an middleman. According to Moser, “she said: ‘Annie has decided she’d like to speak to you. How about tomorrow at 3:30?’ I got a ticket and left that night, and I got to New York and I did my interview, and then flew back to Paris in one day.”

The relationship between Sontag and Leibovitz, in accordance to Moser’s depiction, was in some methods like that of two good puzzle items: Sontag was fascinated by image-making, and Leibovitz is a world-renowned photographer who principally shoots celebrities. But in the relationship, Sontag was domineering and harshly important of Leibovitz, a dynamic that appears to have been harrowing to everybody who witnessed it, besides Leibovitz.

“Of all the people I met, of whom there were many, and many interesting people, she was the most different in person than my image of her,” Moser mentioned, referring to Leibovitz. “I was really surprised by her. She is someone who travels with an entourage — assistants, lawyers, accountants,” and she or he was “concerned about rumors that had been circulating that she had taken advantage of Sontag financially, and wanted to set the record straight.” Even so, he mentioned, Leibovitz was in the end very candid with him. “You realize that she just loved Susan, and I mean, you really feel it when you’re with her.”

Moser spoke to different of Sontag’s former lovers, in addition to mates of hers like the authors Jamaica Kincaid and Camille Paglia, and actors she labored with to mount a manufacturing of “Waiting for Godot” in Sarajevo in 1993.

Moser is fascinated by the dichotomy between the public Sontag, seemingly unflappable and uncompromising, and the non-public girl who suffered from a “terrible sense of inadequacy,” whose “incapacity for daily living was excruciating for herself and others.”

He explores that duality, and Sontag’s personal consciousness of how laborious she had to work to keep the Sontag folks wished her to be. In the late 1980s, when she employed the literary agent Andrew Wylie, she requested him to take a job in the planning of her cumbersome schedule.



Source link Nytimes.com

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