By developing a consistent rhetoric of inadequacy and reproducing a striking process of crisis which takes place inside the author’s mind, Susan Sontag’s trip to Hanoi seeks to estabilish a firm connection between the Occidental tradition of interior dialogue and a morepersonal form of expression, linked to the nationwide radical protest fostered by American intellectuals during the Vietnam war. Caught between various hypotheses of genre affiliation, this broad, epoch-making text aims at rethimking the form of the essay, in Sontag’s second book-length collection, Styles of Radical Will. her narrative and at the same time critical report conflates her general, untiring commitment to aesthetics into a wider series of interpretive, transcultural and political implications, thus disclosing a glimpse of the agenda of postcolonial studies to come, and, by so doing, justifiably allowing Sontag to hold a stable position in the pantheon of cultural studies.
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