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December 28, 2004


Cranky Lawyer

I had the same question. One of Ms. Sontag's obits mentioned a youthful infatuation with the writing of . . . Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Victor Morton

It was just literary omnivorousness. I have never read of Sontag having flirted with Catholicism (looking among literary influences is pretty unreliable evidence). She was born Susan Rosenblatt, raised Jewish, and as far as I know, she never identified in any way with any religion other than Judaism.


"as far as I know, she never identified in any way with any religion other than Judaism"

She may have been a cultural or tribal Jew but I don't think she "identified" with, practiced or espoused Judaism.

Gerard E.

Her religion was First Church of The Politically Correct Manhattanites. Proclaimed the white male as the source of the world's problems. Joined in the chorus of her fellow island intellectuals, including Norman Mailer, in claiming that America got what it deserved from the 9/11 attacks. One of the first of her class who figured out that if you say or write the craziest stuff, the New York Times reporters will write wonderful paragraphs about you. Too bad only 2.78 persons cared about her pronouncements.


I forget the name of Eco's one scholarly book on Thomism. He states in the preface, however, that he undertook it as an act of devotion. By the time he got through with it, though, his faith was kaput. Still, he said, (and I paraphrase) it was a fun ride.

Of Ms. Sontage I can politely say nothing, she not being among us.


Gerald E.: "in claiming that America got what it deserved from the 9/11 attacks". Didn't she say, rather, that the attack was the result of specific alliances and policies? She also pointed out, back in 2001, that most Americans were unaware that we were bombing Iraq already, and had been for years, on nearly a daily basis.

Victor Morton


Being "a cultural or tribal Jew" is still covered by my phrase "identified in any way." Or at least, I chose my words in a way that I thought would cover the reasonable inference that Sontag's religious identification was cultural or tribal rather than theological or ecclesial. But she was still a lapsed, nonpracticing Jew ... not a lapsed nonpracticing Catholic.

Mark R

I will give her credit for her exlplanation (later in life) of what a feminist is made no mention of abortion...just stuff about equal pay and opportunity. Considering the prevailing intellectual climate, I saw this as a breath of fresh air.


I can't politely say anything bad about her, but I can point to someone who did:


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