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We like to stress the commonness of heroes. Essences seem undemocratic. We feel oppressed by the call to greatness. We regard an interest in glory or perfection as a sign of mental unhealthiness, and have decided that high achievers, who are called overachievers, owe their surplus ambition to a defect in mothering (either too little or too much). We want to admire but think we have a right not to be intimidated. We dislike feeling inferior to an ideal. So away with ideals, with essences. The only ideals allowed are healthy ones -- those everyone may aspire to, or comfortably imagine oneself possessing.

Susan Sontag

#ambition #democracy #egalitarianism #equality #essence

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Ellen Lee accused Sontag of plagiarism when Lee discovered at least twelve passages in In America that were similar to or copied from passages in four other books about Helena Modjeska without attribution. The last two novels were set in the past which Sontag said gave her greater freedom to write in the polyphonic voice. She elevated Camp to the status of recognition with her widely-read 1964 essay Notes on 'Camp' which accepted Art as including common absurd and burlesque themes.

". Sontag was active in writing and speaking about or travelling to areas of conflict including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo. Beginning with the publication of her 1964 essay "Notes on 'Camp'" Sontag became an international cultural and intellectual celebrity.

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