Read more

17 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Susan Sontag. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Susan Sontag, often where they are interviewed.

Read more

17 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Susan Sontag. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Susan Sontag, often where they are interviewed.

Updated daily with the latest episodes

Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part Two)

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
Episode artwork
Read more

Continuing on Sontag's essays “On Style” (1965) and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963).

Mark, Wes, Seth and Dylan keep talking about the appropriate distance to retain (or not) to a work of art, which is supposed to be relevant to moral action in the world. We also spell out how this is relevant to our recent episodes on tragedy.

Start with Part One or get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition. Please support PEL!

End song: "Mela" by Julie Slick, as interviewed on Nakedly Examined Music #115.

Jun 29 2020



Ep. 246: Susan Sontag on Interpreting Art (Part One)

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast
Episode artwork
Read more

On Sontag's essays “Against Interpretation” (1964), “On Style” (1965), and "The Death of Tragedy” (1963).

What is it to understand a work of art? Sontag objects to critics' need to decode art into its "meaning" or "content," divorcing it from how this content is embodied. She argues that the content vs. form distinction isn't tenable; that the style of a work is an essential part of experiencing it. Sontag thinks we're too analytical, too divorced from our instincts, and a direct encounter with art is essential to enliven us.

Don't wait for part two; get the full, ad-free Citizen Edition now. Please support PEL!

Sponsor: Visit for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus Video Learning Service.

Jun 22 2020



D.J. Bonebrake, Susan Sontag (and Bobby Doran)

Verge of the Fringe
Episode artwork
Read more
Hey Dude, while standing in the rain, I riff about three towering North Hollywood Huskies: musician D.J. Bonebrake, writer Susan Sontag, and artist Bobby Doran.

PEOPLE: X, Erin Moran, John Williams, Garry Marshall, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye

PLACES: North Hollywood High School

THINGS: "Alphabetland", "On Photography", Facebook, YouTube

SOUNDS: rain, footsteps, "Laguna Cowbell Chimes", airplane, birds

GENRE: storytelling, personal narrative, personal journal

PHOTO: "DJ, Susan and Bobby" shot by D.J. Bonebrake

RECORDED: May 18, 2020 in the new "Keystone Garden Studio" under the flight path of the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California

GEAR: Sony ICD PX370 digital voice recorder and Sony ECM CS3 "tie-clip" microphone.

HYPE: "It's a beatnik kinda literary thing in a podcast cloak of darkness." Timothy Kimo Brien (cohost on Podwrecked and host of Create Art Podcast)

DISCLAIMER/WARNING: Proudly presented rough, raw and ragged. Seasoned with salty language and ideas. Not for most people's taste. Please be advised.

May 18 2020


Benjamin Moser: The Life of Susan Sontag

Live Mic: Best of TPL Conversations
Episode artwork
Read more

*Note: given the current temporary closure of TPL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made our best efforts to offer suggestions below for materials which are part our online collections, and available at home to anyone with a current Toronto Public Library card. 

Why are wait time for ebooks or audiobooks sometimes so long? Learn more about limits on the number of eBook copies and the length of time they can be borrowed.

Books by Benjamin Moser

Sontag: Her Life and Work (ebook)

Clarice Lispector: The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector (translated by Moser) (ebook)

The Besieged City by Clarice Lispector (edited by Moser) (ebook)

Books by Sheila Heti

Women in Clothes (ebook)

Motherhood (print book available when branches reopen)

“My Life is a Joke” (link opens a 2015 story by Heti in The New Yorker)

Materials by or about Susan Sontag

Debriefing: Collected Stories by Susan Sontag

As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks (of Susan Sontag), 1964-1980

Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag

On the Eve of the Met Gala, Andrew Bolton Takes Vogue on a Walking Tour of “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (link opens a Vogue magazine article from May 2019)

Writers Off the Page: 40 Years of TIFA podcast 
A four-part Interview with Susan Sontag (can be listened to in any order)

Episode One: This God-Damned Celebrity Culture (23 mins)

Episode Two: The Little Illness Book (19 mins)

Episode Three: The Arts Give Humans Dignity (19 mins)

Episode Four: Make Something Better (19 mins)

Live Mic: Best of TPL Conversations features curated discussions and interviews with some of today’s best-known and yet-to-be-known writers, thinkers and artists, recorded on stage at one of Toronto Public Library’s 100 branches. Episodes are produced by Natalie Kertes, Jorge Amigo, and Gregory McCormick. Technical support by Michelle De Marco and George Panayotou. AV support by Jennifer Kasper and Mesfin Bayssassew. Marketing support by Tanya Oleksuik.

Music is by The Worst Pop Band Ever.

Apr 20 2020



“Susan Sontag Goes on a Date to the Mineshaft” by Kyle Therral Wilson

The American Playbook
Episode artwork
Read more

In a playful work of semi-historical fiction, Kyle Therral Wilson explores love, lust, and New York's most legendary gay S&M club. 


Ed - Dan Shaked 
Susan Sontag - Amy Scribner 
Fran Lebowitz - Torie Tyson 
Stage Directions - Joshua Noble 

Jan 26 2020



Benjamin Moser and Lara Feigel on Susan Sontag

London Review Bookshop Podcast
Episode artwork
Read more

One of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, Susan Sontag’s writing – on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism, Fascism, Freudianism, Communism and Americanism – forms an indispensable guide to our modern world. Benjamin Moser’s Sontag: Her Life is the first biography based on exclusive access to her restricted archive, providing fascinating insights into both the public myth and private life of an endlessly complex individual. Moser was at the shop to discuss Sontag’s life and legacy with Lara Feigel, author of Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing.

See for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 08 2020

1hr 4mins


Susan Sontag: Her Life and Work

City Arts & Lectures
Episode artwork
Read more

This week, we pay tribute to the activist, essayist, and critic Susan Sontag. 15 years after her death, Sontag's perspectives on language, sexuality, and politics still resonate. She elevated art forms like film and photography, and believed that dedication to high culture was in itself a form of activism. On October 2, 2019, biographer Benjamin Moser and writer and activist Rebecca Solnit came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to discuss the life, work, and legacy of Susan Sontag.

Nov 17 2019

1hr 2mins


Spectator Books: who was Susan Sontag?

Spectator Radio
Episode artwork
Read more
Sam's guest in this week’s books podcast is Benjamin Moser, author of an acclaimed new biography of one of America’s most celebrated (and controversial) intellectuals of the twentieth century: Sontag: Her Life.

Sam asked Benjamin how he sorted fact from myth, about tracking down the inventor of that haircut, and about Annie Leibovitz’s take on their stormy love affair. Why could someone as brave as Sontag never come out? Did she have a sense of humour? And what of her will last?

Spectator Books is a series of literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith, The Spectator's Literary Editor. Hear past episodes of Spectator Books here.

Oct 02 2019



#100: Susan Sontag’s life, with Lisa Appignanesi

The Prospect Interview
Episode artwork
Read more

Critic and novelist Susan Sontag commanded postwar American intellectual life, capturing many minds with her sharp insights on photography, cinema, philosophy, literature, and more. A new biography by Benjamin Moser maps the life of the leading public intellectual. But does it focus on the right things?

Prize-winning writer Lisa Appignanesi OBE joins the Prospect podcast’s 100th episode to talk about the life and work of Susan Sontag—as well as her own experiences meeting the commanding intellectual.

See for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 25 2019



Landmark: Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation

Arts & Ideas
Episode artwork
Read more
Lauren Elkin, Lisa Appignanesi and biographer Ben Moser debate Susan Sontag's life and ideas with presenter Laurence Scott, focusing in on her 1966 essay collection, which argued for a new way of approaching art and culture.

Ben Moser is the author of Sontag: Her life and work which is out now.
Lauren Elkin teaches at the University of Liverpool and is the author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City. She is researching Sontag's time in Sarajevo in 1993 when she staged Waiting for Godot during the Siege following the declaration of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence from Yugoslavia.
Lisa Appignanesi is a Visiting Professor in the Department of English at King's College London and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature Council . Her books include Everday Madness, Simone De Beauvoir, Freud's Women.

You can hear more from Lisa including her BBC Radio 3 interview with Susan Sontag if you search for the Sunday Feature Afterwords: Susan Sontag

Producer: Luke Mulhall

Sep 18 2019