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All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... At Bellow’s gravesite, it was Saul’s biological sons v. the anointed sons (Martin Amis, Leon Wieseltier et al). Here it was Team David and Team Annie giving each other the freeze. The funeral itself, which had taken place a few months earlier in Paris, with Sontag being buried at Montparnasse in the same hallowed earth as Sartre, Barthes and ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin, 26 November 1998

Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... into a rare and uncharacteristic expression of dislike’. That’s good, and good to know. (Leon Wieseltier, in his gushing goodbye to Berlin last year in the New Republic, could not have been more wrong than in depicting him as a medieval Jewish sage.) There are probably two additional and reinforcing reasons for Berlin’s disdain. One is that ...

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