Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors

Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors

3.94 (2,589 ratings by Goodreads)
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Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor in 1978, while suffering from breast cancer herself. In her study she reveals that the metaphors and myths surrounding certain illnesses, especially cancer, add greatly to the suffering of the patients and often inhibit them from seeking proper treatment. By demystifying the fantasies surrounding cancer, Sontag shows cancer for what it is - a disease; not a curse, not a punishment, certainly not an embarrassment, and highly curable, if good treatment is found early enough. Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a new, stigmatized disease replete with mystifications and punitive metaphors, Sontag wrote Aids and Its Metaphors, extending the argument of the earlier book to the AIDS pandemic.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 16mm | 99.79g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141187123
  • 9780141187129
  • 18,511

Review quote

"Susan Sontag's "Illness as Metaphor "was the first to point out the accusatory side of the metaphors of empowerment that seek to enlist the patient's will to resist disease. It is largely as a result of her work that the how-to health books avoid the blame-ridden term 'cancer personality' and speak more soothingly of 'disease-producing lifestyles' . . . "AIDS and Its Metaphors "extends her critique of cancer metaphors to the metaphors of dread surrounding the AIDS virus. Taken together, the two essays are an exemplary demonstration of the power of the intellect in the face of the lethal metaphors of fear."--Michael Ignatieff, "The New Republic"
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About Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. Her non-fiction works include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, AIDS and its Metaphors and Regarding the Pain of Others. She is also the author of four novels, a collection of stories and several plays. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.
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Rating details

2,589 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (769)
4 41% (1,068)
3 24% (627)
2 4% (100)
1 1% (25)
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