Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Scholars and activists

Susan Sontag Bio

Sontag, Susan. (1933-2004)Susan Sontag, author, literary theorist, and political activist.

  • From ca. 1952 to 1956 Sontag lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts while attending graduate school at Harvard. In 1954 Herbert Marcuse lived with Sontag and Rieff for a year while working on Eros and Civilization (published in 1955). Carl Edmund Rollyson and Lisa Olson Paddock, Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon (Norton, 2000), p. 38: "Sontag says 'a long time ago in Cambridge. ... We had Herbert Marcuse staying with us. His wife had just died.'"
    Sophie died in 1951. Sontag started grad school in 1953 at UConn, but still lived in Cambridge on the weekends, transferring to Harvard in Fall 1954.
  • Herbert's life stations:: 1952-53 Columbia; 1954-55 Harvard, 1958-65 Brandeis
  • Phillip Lopate's Notes on Sontag (google books), p. 49 says that she and her husband Phillip Reiff lived with Herbert for a year [it was the other way around!], and on p. 72 Lopate says Sontag wrote about Eros & Civilization in her essay "Psychoanalysis and Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death" (google books, see pp. 89, 255 and 259--search marcuse).
  • Herbert and his second wife Inge Neumann remained friends with Susan and Phillip while Herbert was at Brandeis.
  • Secondary literature: Craig J. Peariso, "The 'Counter Culture' in Quotes: Sontag and Marcuse on the Work of Revolution," in: Barbara Ching and Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor (eds.), The Scandal of Susan Sontag (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), 155-170.
  • UCLA library's collection of Sontag's papers (library's special collections info page ) does not have any correspondence between her and Herbert, but there are two of Herbert's books signed by him to her that have Sontag's annotations.
  • Just for fun and coindentally: for one of my courses I (Harold) put a hyperlinked, illustrated version of Sontag's 1974 review essay "Fascinating Fascism" online.
Index entries: Sontag, Susan
Updated: 2010