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December, 2004


          I never met Susan Sontag in New York, though we traveled and worked in some of the same areas, of art, theater and photography.  I didn’t consider it to be urgent to meet her, for me she was always there and would always be.  The grand moral authority of our generation, her voice, deep and determined, echoed down through the years.


          I remember much about the war in Viet Nam, the great shame of our government and the urgency to do everything possible to end it.  To our small anti-war street theater company, under the grey rains of Seattle, the voice of Susan Sontag sounded with the clarity and commitment of a multitude.


          Following the attacks of September, 2001, I heard in my country only a profound silence.  From no sector came words of reason, of intelligence, of questioning.


          Susan Sontag noted the same.  “Where is the acknowledgement that this was not a 'cowardly' attack, against 'civilization,' against 'freedom,' against 'humanity' or the free world, but an attack against a self-proclaimed world superpower.”


          And I am grateful to have read here in Mexico recent comments from a few of my countrymen, among them Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the original of the anti-war beats, and Noam Chomski, star of the old radical universities, contributing to the public debate with their visions from the left, the people, the poor, from humanity itself.


          At the vanguard of all has been Susan Sontag.  Coming with her affinity for the Mexican soul, the Zapatista cause, the movement for peace, she shared with us her voice, her authority, her beautiful presence.


          I was moved to see a recent reproduction in a Mexican newspaper, of an old photo of her greeting a youthful Elena Poniatowska, another of my intellectual friends, taken at an anti-war rally in the sixties, and I felt again a further bond around our planet.


          The loss of this great voice could be sad for us and could leave a void in our world’s life.  Or, Susan Sontag could sound again in our world, a source of inspiration for all of us, and we could redouble our efforts and commitments, we could act now and we could raise our voices again … with hers.


- Bill Wolf

Oaxaca, Mexico