Illness As Metaphor & AIDS and Its Metaphors

A profound read!

HardlyWritten

Susan Sontag, 1978/1989

This book is comprised of two essays, the first, Illness as Metaphor was published in 1978 shortly after Sontag underwent treatment for her unnamed cancer (she just refers to it as “my own cancer (103)”), and the second, AIDS and Its Metaphors, was published in 1989 at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis when the epidemic was only becoming to be understood and most diagnoses were viewed as a death sentence. The second essay is much more approachable than the first, primarily because there is a personal and honest feel to it that is lacking in the first. Sontag begins the AIDS essay acknowledging the first essay and in her opening to the AIDS essay she reveals that when she wrote the Illness essay she had recently undergone treatment for cancer but had specifically chosen to omit that fact from the content of her first essay. This…

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