There were long periods when she simply disappeared from view. When she returned, it might be with an essay on a topic so utterly uncontemporary as Japanese puppet theater or the ﬁction of Machado de Assis. Indeed, with much of Sontag’s work during the ’80s and ’90s, there seemed to be an element of capriciousness in her choice of topics. She had avoided the constraints of scholarly “professionalization,” to use that rather grim word so beloved of the MLA folk. The price was a tendency toward genteel self-delight that -- because of its aristocratic tone, and her solemn manner as Great Writer -- could be quite maddening, even to an admirer.
Update: Excellent post at Alphonse Van Worden on Sontag's seeming inability to get one of Godard's jokes.