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Camille Paglia

  • American author
  • Born April 2, 1947

Camille Anna Paglia (; born April 2, 1947) is an American academic and social critic. Paglia has been a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 1984. She is critical of many aspects of modern culture, and is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990) and other books. She is also a critic of American feminism and of post-structuralism as well as a commentator on multiple aspects of American culture such as its visual art, music, and film history.


I don't go to New York. I don't go to parties. I just do my business and study nature. My career is 28 years in an obscure art school, with limited staff and no perks. All I am is a teacher.




As a major contemporary composer, Madonna should not let the eye dictate to the ear.




Working moms commonly testify that they feel guilty when they are away from their children and guilty when they are not at their jobs. Devoted fathers certainly miss their children deeply, but it does not seem to be with the same gnawing, primal anxiety that often afflicts women.




We live in a period of declining stars. Few celebrities these days (aside from the smoldering Angelina Jolie) seem to have complex psychic lives.




'Mad Men' doesn't capture one single thing about the decor, costumes, or sexual interaction. It is a total projection of contemporary snarky attitudes into the past.




Our liberal, New York/Washington-based media would never in a million years put Liberal Godfather Ted Kennedy on the spot about his clan's bad behavior, to whose lurid history he himself has contributed so much.




A woman simply is, but a man must become.




Men know they are sexual exiles. They wander the earth seeking satisfaction, craving and despising, never content. There is nothing in that anguished motion for women to envy.




Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.




If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.




I'm a professor of media studies as well as humanities, and I'm an evangelist of popular culture, but when there's only media, then there's going to be a slow debasement of language, and that's what I think we're fighting.




High Romanticism shows you nature in all its harsh and lovely metamorphoses. Flood, fire and quake fling us back to the primal struggle for survival and reveal our gross dependency on mammoth, still mysterious forces.




I believe that every person, male and female, needs to be in a protective mode at all times of alertness to potential danger. The world is full of potential attacks, potential disasters.




Because of my own family's service (in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Massachusetts and New York National Guard), I am a strong supporter of the military and do believe that there are just wars.




Anti-religious sneers are a hallmark of perpetual adolescents.




It's high time for the art world to admit that the avant-garde is dead. It was killed by my hero, Andy Warhol, who incorporated into his art all the gaudy commercial imagery of capitalism (like Campbell's soup cans) that most artists had stubbornly scorned.




Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.




As a longtime fan of talk radio, I'm very worried about the low opinion that conservative hosts and callers have of the American artist. Art is portrayed as a scam, a rip-off and snow job pushed by snobbish elites.




The only thing that will be remembered about my enemies after they're dead is the nasty things I've said about them.




I despise the phony, fancy-pants rhetoric of professors aping jargon-filled European locutions - which have blighted academic film criticism for over 30 years.




I was the first to advocate the Web. But I am very troubled by this thing that every kid must have a laptop computer. The kids are totally in the computer age. There's a whole new brain operation that's being moulded by the computer.




I've been a longtime admirer of Condoleezza Rice, because I like her articulateness and style - her toughness and rigor.




Considering the popularity of soaps with the African-American audience, it's grotesque that the entertainment industry, for all its vaunted liberalism, is lagging so far behind social changes in the United States. And why has there never been an all-black daytime network soap? It would probably blow the white soaps off the map.




I have a long view of history - my orientation is archaeological because I'm always thinking in terms of ancient Greece and Rome, ancient Persia and Egypt.




A lesser complaint: hair extensions. There are moments on 'All My Children' when half the women actors, young and old, seem to be afflicted by android Barbie creep. All those thick swatches of lifeless strands clustering lankly round ladies' necks! Like orange tanning spray, this is a fashion fad that should be put out of its misery.




Does art have a future? Performance genres like opera, theater, music and dance are thriving all over the world, but the visual arts have been in slow decline for nearly 40 years. No major figure of profound influence has emerged in painting or sculpture since the waning of Pop Art and the birth of Minimalism in the early 1970s.




Beauty is our weapon against nature; by it we make objects, giving them limit, symmetry, proportion. Beauty halts and freezes the melting flux of nature.




If Obama fails to win reelection, let the blame be first laid at the door of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who at a pivotal point threw gasoline on the flames by comparing angry American citizens to Nazis.




Although I'm an atheist who believes only in great nature, I recognize the spiritual richness and grandeur of the Roman Catholicism in which I was raised.




Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers.




My generation of bossy, confident, baby-boom women were something brand new in history. Our energy and assertiveness weren't created by Betty Friedan, unknown before her 1963 book, or by Gloria Steinem, whose political activism, as even the Lifetime profile admitted, did not begin until 1969.




Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?




I say the law should be blind to race, gender and sexual orientation, just as it claims to be blind to wealth and power. There should be no specially protected groups of any kind, except for children, the severely disabled and the elderly, whose physical frailty demands society's care.




As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal.




A serious problem in America is the gap between academe and the mass media, which is our culture. Professors of humanities, with all their leftist fantasies, have little direct knowledge of American life and no impact whatever on public policy.




It's time for a recovery and reassessment of North American thinkers. Marshall McLuhan, Leslie Fiedler and Norman O. Brown are the linked triad I would substitute for Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, whose work belongs to ravaged postwar Europe and whose ideas transfer poorly into the Anglo-American tradition.



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