The Corner

Susan Sontag and 9/11

The New York Review of Books ran an estimate of the career of the late Susan Sontag, who functioned as their Pope Joan for many years (“Notes on Susan,” August 6).

The piece mentioned Sontag’s shameful New Yorker essay, in the first issue after 9/11, which was the harbinger of the “we deserved it” school of thought that now stretches from Osama to Ron Paul. A letter to the editor in the current issue (Sept. 27) comments. “[Eliot Weinberger, author of the original piece] talks about Sontag being assailed in an atmosphere of ‘jingoism’ for writing ‘Let’s by all means grieve together. But let’s not be stupid together.’ One does not have to be a jingoist to be offended by that statement. Any intelligent reader can see that Sontag felt no grief whatsoever, and was impatient with those who did. It’s ironic that the woman who wrote the first-rate book Regarding the Pain of Others seemed so unable to sympathize or even grasp the pain of those others who were just forty blocks south of her home.” (Jane Farrell, Peoria, Arizona).

The author responds to several points raised by various correspondents; not to this one.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More