Susan Sontag on Love and 'Qualities That Turn Me On'

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The recently released volume of Susan Sontag's diaries, As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 ( public library), is a treasure trove of insight -- on writing, on censorship, on aphorisms -- from the deepest corners of one of the greatest minds in modern history. But besides her extraordinary intellect, what made Sontag a force of nature was also her complex and ever-evolving emotional perception, brimming with extreme self-awareness and keen reflection on her relationships with others.

I sieved Sontag's journals for her most poignant, most private meditations on love -- candid, vulnerable, hopeful, hopeless -- and asked artist extraordinaire Wendy MacNaughton () to hand-letter and illustrate them exclusively for Brain Pickings.

See them here.

As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 is superb and revealing in its entirety -- impossible to recommend enough.

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Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.

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