by Maria Popova
““Nothing is mysterious, no human relation. Except love.”
HAPPY UPDATE: We’ve released a sequel, Susan Sontag on art, with proceeds benefiting A Room of Her Own, a foundation supporting women writers and artists.
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. Enjoy.
As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 is superb and revealing in its entirety — impossible to recommend enough.
HAPPY UPDATE: After countless requests, we’ve made available a limited-edition 8″x26″ high-quality print of the artwork on heavy cotton rag paper with deckled edges, signed and numbered. Enjoy.”