Pseudo-intellectual as a necessary stage

"Reading through the odds and ends that have been published since [Susan Sontag's] death almost 10 years ago—the two volumes of her journals, in particular—you get the sense of a person who was always working toward an ideal version of herself. The ideal changed in its particulars over time, but the ideal of change remained constant. She’s often a reassuringly pretentious figure in the early diaries, which are themselves a useful reminder that being a pseudo-intellectual is a necessary stage on the way to being a nonpseudo-intellectual, and that the two classifications aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Being an intellectual is often, after all, a matter of getting away with trying to be seen as one."

Mark O'Connell, The Intellectual, review of Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview by Jonathan Cott.

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