I Don't Know Her
Emily Allan & Leah Hennessey
“I don’t know her,” Mariah Carey, doyenne of shade, famously told German TV when asked about Jennifer Lopez in the early 2000s. She presumably did—they had feuded before—and the same might be said of Susan Sontag who in 1992 told Entertainment Weekly that she had never heard of Camille Paglia. It seems unlikely given their work on similar themes—as well as Paglia’s inviting Sontag to speak at Bennington College in 1973. Then, Paglia idolized Sontag; soon she was disenchanted. Sontag didn’t watch TV, she didn’t listen to rock and roll, she loved dead old French men. How could she “get” culture when she disdained it? In this restaged sparring that brings Sontag and Paglia into the same room, the pair duke out their critical theories and feminisms high and low—in this case, mostly low.