- Annie Liebovitz
- Susan Sontag
We all like lists. Even if we don’t make them ourselves because the idea of putting our thoughts down in any kind of concrete order is somewhat repellent, we still like other people’s lists. And when people’s thoughts and preferences are grouped together in an orderly way, it is easy recognize ourselves in their likes and dislikes and then maybe, maybe, we won’t feel so alone. Lists, in the end, are a way to avoid the ever-present crisis of existential malaise. Or, you know, they’re just a fun, easily digestible way of consuming information. Lists are fun to read and they’re fun to make.
Writers, in particular, seem to come to list-making naturally. Maybe because it is a relief to just put words down without having to really connect them in any larger way than just by some loose category? Maybe. Whatever the reason, Brainpickings recently posted some lists of Susan Sontag’s likes and dislikes and it was, predictably, perfect in its inclusion of all sorts of random things that made sense once grouped together. And it got me thinking about what other famous writers like and dislike and what their likes and dislikes say about them and, also, what it says about me that I felt a little spark of joy when I recognized my own favorite and despised things on these lists. Maybe you’ll feel the same way. These are some of the likes and dislikes of famous writers, presented without comment.