Death Kit

Death Kit

First published in 1967, Death Kit--Susan Sontag's second novel--is a classic of modern fiction. Blending realism and dream, it offers a passionate exploration of the recesses of the American conscience.

Reviews of the Death Kit

Rachel the relieved has finished this fucking book (now) after having read two books in between.

Susan Sontag was more of a figure than a person. Suffice to say there is only one woman Hitchens talks in any length about in his memoir (other than his mother) and its Susan Sontag. It felt good to be reading Susan Sontag. Also I sure looked good reading Sontag, walking around with black and white Penguin Modern Classic that just spelled class. (But for some reason I decided against brushing my hair that day - you can see it on my blog ) Of course, if I were taking this intellectual adventure seriously, Id be reading Sontags essays, not novels, and they obviously are on my four or five thousand items strong to-read list but meanwhile lets have a quick look at this (post)modernist trip. As many critics writing novels Sontag uses this rather poor excuse of a plot to continue writing essays about art and philosophy and whats real and whats not real, and how real is real anyway, but really these ruminations should have never happened in the mind of her Diddy the bland protagonist. I know we shouldnt look a gift horse in the mouth but, Susan, some gifts are just not that great.

Postmodern bir roman, gazeteci ve incelemeci olan Susan Sontag romanc olarak da baarl. Ksmen cinayet öyküsü yer alsa da felsefi ve psikolojik arl fazla olan bir ak roman gibi kurgulanm, ama ak roman deil. Bu kitapta en ilginç olan husus anlatcnn (üçüncü tekil ahs) bir ekilde ilk azdan (birici tekil ahs) anlatyor gibi gelmesi. Yazar bu teknii çok zekice kullanyor ki daha önce bu kadar açk olarak herhangi bir romanda rastlamamtm. Diddynin rüya m gerçek mi birbirinden ayramad ve devaml sorgulad olaylarn banda ilediini düündüü cinayet hikayesi ile roman balyor, sonradan kör olmu genç ve güzel bir kadn olan Hester ile arasndaki ak örgüsüyle devam ediyor. Hem de çok baarl bir ekilde.

A serious academe even at an early age, who had logged in time at the University of Chicago, University of Paris and Oxford all by 25, Sontag was known as a distinctly European-style intellectual who spent her life championing the challenging countercultural writers of that continent; celebrated mostly for her heady critical essays, among other achievements she was the person to coin the word "camp" as a positive term for "so bad it's good," a virtual pillar of the entire Postmodern era, plus came up with an entirely new way for us to envision the relationship between photography and us as its subjects and viewers, an obsession that even bled into Sontag's personal life, in that this notorious bisexual was romantically involved with famed photographer Annie Liebowitz for the entire last decade of her life.

The dead railwayman, the blind lover, the jovial fellow employee As Diddy drifts into dreams and memories, the feeling of unreality grows. Even as Diddy grows more unhinged, the reader begins to grasp where his tale will end up.

Very similar to Sontag's first book, The Benefactor: A Novel, in that the protagonist (Dalton "Diddy" Harron in this book) has trouble discerning between dream and reality. Better than The Benefactor as far as I'm concerned but, like I said, similar in structure.

Very rarely does she employ a third person pronoun and so we achieve a level with her main character (Diddy) that is close to being analogous to the relationship he holds to himself. The end is virtually prefigured in the beginning, and one is only duped by succumbing to the standard conception of plot narrative. Granted, very few characters can exist in the way that Sontags Diddy does, but she uncovers in an extended way another intimacy between reader and narrator.

I don't agree with those critics that Death Kit is not a successful novel. Sontag suggests "we need to see more, to hear more, to feel more" in Against Interpretation essay, but in the reception of Death Kit, people don't feel it.

He is - if I remember - a handsome, well-dressed university student or young professional who turns his back on everything except this blind girl who he sleeps with all of the time. Death Kit is well written but will take you into the toilet if you are already a sad sack to begin with and lonely for "company".

Sontag is known for her criticism and philosophy, and it would probably be fair to say that she has a certain cult appeal among adolescent literature students thats based more on a love of precocious grey-bestreaked intellectuals with exciting love lives as it is an interest in her actual criticism.

  • English

  • Fiction

  • Rating: 3.54
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: June 1st 2002 by Picador
  • Isbn10: 0312420110
  • Isbn13: 9780312420116