Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Quoted: Susan Sontag on being an adversay writer

I am an adversary writer, a problematic writer. I write to support what is attacked, to attack what is acclaimed. But thereby I put myself in an emotionally uncomfortable position. I don't secretly hope to convince and can't help being dismayed when my minority taste (ideas) becomes majority taste (ideas): then I want to attack again. I can't help but be in an adversary relation to my own work. -- Susan Sontag
I found this quote scribbled down in three-year-old notebook, unsourced. I think it may have come from her journals, which were published around that time. Given that so many writers -- good writers, careful writers -- now are coerced into a self-censorious purgatory where word must be checked and rechecked for possible offense, the idea of being a consciously adversary writer is very appealing to me.