Susan Sontag – Debriefing

Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP front cover
Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP back cover
Susan Sontag – Debriefing LP side 1
Susan Sontag, 1975

On this disc, American writer Susan Sontag, 1933-2004, reads excerpts from Debriefing, written in 1973, a text from her unique collection of short stories titled I, etcetera, published 1978. It was recorded in 1979 and released on LP by TANAM Press, a New York publisher of radical, theoretical and activist writings of the 1980s, including cult Korean author Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

For a long time better known for her essays, Sontag’s short stories are currently being reassessed by literary critics and at least her short stories can be viewed as a documentary on Chelsea’s bohemian life. The following passage from Debriefing (quoted by someone else on the web) is representative of the writing style:

All around us, as far as I can see, people are striving to be ordinary. This takes a great deal of effort. Ordinariness, generally considered to be safer, has gotten much rarer than it used to be.

Julia called yesterday to report that, an hour before, she had gone downstairs to take in her laundry. I congratulated her. People try to be interested in the surface. Men without guns are wearing mascara, glittering, prancing. Everyone’s in some kind of moral drag.

Interesting cover artwork by uncredited artist.

[Thanks to Goran for this LP]

01 Side 1 (17:35)
02 Side 2 (19:15)

Total time 36:50
LP released by TANAM Press, New York, NY, 1979


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4 Responses to “Susan Sontag – Debriefing”

  1. 1 Dylan Thomas Hayden December 9, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Another interesting post. The cover art is a painting by Charles Rennie Mackintosh called “The Tree of Influence” from 1895. Great work on the blog, I’m a frequent visitor. Best wishes.

  2. 2 continuo December 9, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Thanks for the information. Hope you’ll return often to these pages.

  3. 3 Mooney July 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Can you please re-upload this marvelous recording?

  4. 4 continuo July 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

    It’s now hosted on Ubuweb. Their servers are down at the moment, but check back in a few days and you’ll find this recording.

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