The first time I read that Susan Sontag believed that she would never die, I thought it was a small joke or some insider shorthand about fame. The statement keeps being repeated, and each time apparently the iteration is serious. Apparently Sontag really did think, until shortly before her death, that she would not die. Of all the people in the world over all the many hundreds of thousands of years there have been human beings here, she alone would live without end. Not, mind you, the widespread (and nevertheless terribly odd) view that somehow or other something survives death or is resurrected after death. No immortal soul for her. Seems she thought instead that she would just go on and on, like some Star Trek episode or Greek myth. Or maybe it was that God picked her out, among the many. This is hard to make sense of, coming from an adult. I understand that children get all sorts of odd ideas in their heads, including that somehow they are Hercules reborn or some such. But Sontag held this thought as an adult. And made no secret of it. Of course, she was free to. No rules (none enforceable anyway) against ridiculous ideas, and it was her time to use if she wanted. But it does raise a question about the fact that people listened to her, read her work, talked about her as though a serious thinker. (I admit, I have a bias here in that I never liked any of her works.) How is this not believing in magic? Say the right words and up comes the mummy. And now her notebooks are being published. The excerpts I have seen suggest that publication is a bad idea. Of course the notebooks of youth make for some moments of cringing, which is okay if there is a proper reward. Is there? What did Sontag say that would make anyone want to read her every word? I doubt that even the likes of Wittgenstein or Quine, etc., would warrant such publication. Surely not every word ever from the pen of Eliot or Bishop should be put out in print. In general I am not much for the publication of the entire corpus of anyone's writings. Even less reason to give such treatment who held such a plainly idiotic view -- she would never die -- .