Under the Sign of Saturn  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Under the Sign of Saturn is Susan Sontag's third collection of criticism, comprising seven essays. The collection was originally published in 1980. All of the essays were originally published in The New York Review of Books except for "Approaching Artaud," which was originally published in The New Yorker.


David Bromwich of The New York Times wrote:

Susan Sontag's third book of essays has meditations on Antonin Artaud, Elias Canetti, Leni Riefenstahl, Walter Benjamin and Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's film about Hitler, along with brief eulogies for Paul Goodman and Roland Barthes. Her subjects bear witness to Miss Sontag's range as well as her diligence. She keeps up - appears, at times, to do the keeping-up for a whole generation - and has long been an effective publicist for the more imposing European offshoots of high modernism. The theater of cruelty, the death of "the author": From ground to summit, from oblivion to oblivion, she covers the big movements and ideas and then sends out her report, not without qualms.


(Dates are for original publication in print.)

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