When you experience your own mortality and your own fragility, then I think something opens in you. I mean, neither one of us would wish to have our illness. But there is something deepening and something opening up in being very seriously ill and in accepting help, consolation and warmth from other people. It does compensate for all the malice—the spitefulness…”

Susan Sontag, who has cancer again, to fellow genius-living-with-disease Edward Said, who has leukemia, Talk, April 2000