Susan Sontag

1933 (New York) – 2004 (New York)

Sontag was as influential a public intellectual as the U.S. has produced, particularly through a series of well-known essays. Strauss and Tillich taught her, Marcuse lived in her house, Childs was a lover (and Moreau merely a close friend). Ocampo recognised her younger self in Sontag, while McCarthy told her “I hear you’re the new me”. Cornell, obsessed, dedicated several boxes to her. Cunningham, Danto, Fuentes, Kiš and Rushdie were all friends; Roy, Said, Cioran and Enzensburger among her many correspondents. Aged 14, she took a schoolfriend for tea and cookies with Mann (and found he had feet of clay).

Susan Sontag knew…