Saturday, July 14, 2007
On Sontag: The Benefactor
It occurred to me today just how difficult it is to flush religion. To say it is so surface level and feels freeing, but to do it, to really free yourself takes work. After her death, there was no shortage of praise for Susan Sontag, also not any shortage of reminders of her unedited moments. The praise made me wonder, so I found the cheapest copy of one of her works on eBay and had it sitting for some time. I picked it up recently, not having a clue what to expect. The Benefactor can only be described as one totally fucked up novel. As I was reading Hippolyte describe how he remodeled his mansion for Frau, I realized that misogyny has overcome me be it through culture or as a natural matter. In fact, its genesis is not at all important. Here I am having lunch, being talked to by the bartender to whom I can hardly reply as I am so dumbfounded, offended by this anti-hero allowing himself another assault on his victim. I wasn't so offended when Amis took us into the Gulag where they tossed men in the air to count the number of broken bones from one to the other. In Amis we collectively see the many dark crevices in his mind that he is doubtlessly eager to lead the tour. No, in this, I was offended that a woman had this dark place, that she was so willing to explore and exhibit it. I thought how she must have been so embarrassed to take this to her publisher, realizing quickly that my daydream for her was probably far from true. I wondered who in hell liked this stuff. I mean, I read the reviews printed to sell the book. I am reconciled to finish the book to be able to say that I finished the book, that I read the book to have insight to her success, of which this novel gave me little. I am okay with those that will charge me with thickness or immaturity for my lack of appreciation. That's alright. Really. It is true to say that I don't get it. If I do, I will update this post later today when I finish it. I will be happy to be on to the next.