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Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays Paperback – September 8, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
All of the essays in this wonderful collection sparkle with erudition, honesty and guts. I was actually startled by Paglia's frankness, power and arresting prose style. A friend, who suggested I read this book, summed Paglia up quite nicely, "She has turned cultural studies into a contact sport." It's about time. Having been on the receiving end of the Derrida, Lacan, Foucault triad, as an idealistic, hungry for knowledge undergraduate, I too was swept-up in the French theory furore, anally strutting around campus like some initiated witch from a secret coven. History has shown that the attainment of alleged esoteric knowledge has always given us a false sense of power: a feeling that you are somehow a member of the elite, above the fray, someone special.Read more ›
Paglia's intellectual contribution comes from her anti-postpodernism. PC is an instant-practice in postmodernist society that creates/spreads the pseudo-disease called victimization. America has, through PC, become a nation of victims. See also "Dumbing Down our Kids", by Charles J. Sykes, for the role played by schools in creating 'victims'. Paglia's anti-postmodernist essay 'Junk bonds and Corporate Raiders' is worth reading because it's a very effective attack on postmodernism/PC, and predates the Sokal hoax by about five years. Her MIT lecture is also worth reading. The rest of the book, in praise of the instant-culture created by modern capitalism, which has largely destroyed the chance of nontrivial culture within America, includes a lot of horn-tooting for Paglia by Paglia and does not shed light on anything worth knowing. Paglia likes to emphasize her Italian roots, but the stark contrast with John Berger's writing, where peasants do not behave as victims and capitalism is not praised for what it has done, is worth noting.
But, as you read on, you become aware you're in the presence of some exotic species of maniac. Her bullying style initially seduces and finally repulses. It's Camille, Camille, Camille - and as you read through these essays, you begin to mutter to yourself, "If she refers to "my Sixties generation", her Italian heritage or her own intellectual virtuosity one more time, I'm going to...."
Her obsessional loathing of the feminist establishment seems finally self-indulgent. She seems to believe that feminist ideology is this pernicious disease that is spreading out of control, polluting the minds of the young and vulnerable and poisoning human relationships, when in actuality, feminist thought is nowhere near the orthodoxy she makes it out to be.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this is all that's left of the second volume of Sexual Personae - that's very disappointing. Pahlia's brain is terrifyingly beautiful.Published 1 month ago by Victoria Heal
Relentless, overblown, annoying. We get it Camila, you hate academics. A good essay on Madonna is followed by a ridiculous one on Elizabeth Taylor. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gerry Robinson
This collection hasn’t aged a day—perhaps because the social and intellectual problems Paglia diagnosed 20 years ago are still with us: the exhaustion of the Left-Right paradigm,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Murray J Siskind
Love Paglia's wit and direct, no nonsense manner of writing. Thank goodness someone is courageous enough to
express an opposing opinion.
I usually enjoy reading Paglia but thought this condensed Art History effort was more a bibliography than an enlightening effort. Read morePublished on January 31, 2013 by Susan Laws
I adore this woman.
Funny, sharp and smart.
Single-handedly educated me on art more than four years of art school ever did.
Camille Paglia is a wild woman. Daughter of poor but educated Italian immigrants from the Lazio region south of Rome, American citizen, educated first in parochial schools in New... Read morePublished on November 9, 2012 by ilprofessore
Camille Paglia-Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays, Vintage 1992.
>>>Camille Anna Paglia (born 1947) is an American author, teacher, and social critic. Read more