Title: SONTAG & KAEL: OPPOSITES ATTRACT ME - Scarce...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Counterpoint Publications, 2004
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 244 pages. Published in 2004. The author's breakthrough debut book. Now widely considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Craig Seligman's "Sontag & Kael". A passionate, full-length critical study on its binary subjects. One of our most brilliantly opinionated critics, Seligman (and his book) has attracted considerable critical and popular attention. "Seligman's thesis is very simple: He sees and assesses the two writers, both immensely influential, as complete opposites, one of whom he reveres (Sontag), the other, he loves (Kael). Were he forced to choose, he would choose the latter" (Publisher's blurb). The single best appraisal of Seligman's fascinating thesis is by Philip Kennicott: "Seligman's very good book isn't flawed by its prejudice for Kael. Rather, it's rendered more human. The love shines through. But a book about Kael and Sontag shouldn't dodge the issue of influence. Kael was a delight to read, but the Kael style - the bitchiness, the unrelenting certainty of opinion - has been a malign force in American criticism, which all too often burbles along as a stream of witty one-liners and provocative pronouncements. Sontag and Kael may represent poles of an argument about art and style, but we must not lose sight of our need for less Kael and more Sontag. When Sontag warned us, in the aftermath of 9/11, that while we should grieve together, we must not be stupid together, she was warning us against making the kind of movie Kael's detractors accused her of loving. Do not go to war in the name of narrative simplicity, do not be bloodthirsty, do not seek revenge. Sontag was right, clear-headed, and prescient. Kael was never the political animal that Sontag was, and thus she was never as heroically right about anything as Sontag is. Kael was a talent; Sontag is a genius" (The Washington Post). We do learn more from our (and other people's) mistakes, shortcomings, and excesses, all of which Pauline Kael had in abundance. Seligman has done us a great service even if he may have gotten his loving wrong. An absolute "must-have" title for Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, and Craig Seligman collectors. This title is now collectible. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the most brilliant critics of our time on two of the most influential and important American writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG AND PAULINE KAEL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 1582433119. Bookseller Inventory # 14451
Synopsis: For fans of high culture, pop culture and American genius, a personal and idiosyncratic exploration of two of the 20th century's most distinguished cultural icons. With wit and style worthy of his subjects, Craig Seligman explores the enduring influence of two critics who defined the cultural sensibilities of a generation: Susan Sontag and Pauline Kael. Though outwardly they had several things in common--they were both Westerners who came east, both schooled in philosophy, both secular Jews, and both single mothers--they were polar opposites in temperament and approach. From the very beginning Seligman makes his sympathies clear: Sontag is a writer he reveres; but Kael is a writer he loves. He approaches both critics through their work, whose fundamental parallels serve to sharpen their differences. Tone is the most obvious area where they're at odds. Kael practiced a kind of verbal jazz, exuberant, excessive, intimate, emotional, and funny. Sontag is formal and a little icy--a model of detachment. Kael never changed her approach from her first review to her last, while mutability has been one of the defining motifs of Sontag's career. Moral questions obsess Sontag; they interested Kael but didn't trouble her. Then there's the matter of self-revelation. Under Sontag's aloofness smolders an impulse toward autobiography so strong that it isn't an exaggeration to call it confessional. Kael seems to be terribly intimate and forthcoming, and yet she turns out, when you peer closely, to be surprisingly guarded. But the question that Seligman keeps coming back to is: Can criticism be art? In seeking to answer it, he performs an unusual and remarkable feat: he has produced a nuanced, luminously written examination that stands as an answer in itself.
About the Author: Craig Seligman has been an editor at The New Yorker, Food & Wine (executive editor), and Salon.com (books editor). He has written criticism for a wide variety of publications, including The San Francisco Examiner (where he was a staff film and book critic in the 1980s), The New Yorker, Salon, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, The Village Voice, Artforum, Bookforum, and The New York Times Book Review (where he remains a frequent contributor).
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Store Description: Modern Rare is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: firstname.lastname@example.org We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!