Camille Paglia Quotes

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75 Best Camille Paglia Quotes

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  • 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.
  • My argument has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
  • Pursuit and seduction are the essence of sexuality. It's part of the sizzle.
  • Feminism is dead. The movement is absolutely dead. The women's movement tried to suppress dissident voices for way too long. There's no room for dissent.
  • For all the feminist jabber about women being victimized by fashion, it is men who most suffer from conventions of dress. Every day, a woman can choose from an army of personae, femme to butch, and can cut or curl her hair or adorn herself with a staggering variety of artistic aids. But despite the Sixties experiments in peacock dress, no man can rise in the corporate world today, outside the entertainment industry, with long hair or makeup or purple velvet suits.
  • My advice, as in everything, is to read widely and think for yourself We need more dissent and less dogma.
Camille Paglia-Quotes
  • 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 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.
  • If feminism has receded in visibility and prestige, it is precisely because its vision of life's goals and rewards has become too narrow and elitist.
  • Madonna remains the most visible performer on the planet, as well as one of the wealthiest, but would anyone seriously say that artistic self-development is her primary motivating principle? She is too busy with Kabbalah, fashion merchandising, adoption melodramas, the gym, and ill-starred horseback riding to study art.
  • Old school feminism, coveting social power, is blind to woman's cosmic sexual power.
  • If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.
  • Christianity began as a religion of the poor and dispossessed - farmers, fishermen, Bedouin shepherds. There's a great lure to that kind of simplicity and rigor - the discipline, the call to action.
  • Criticism at its best is re-creative, not spirit-killing.
  • The airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan - it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.
  • Ever since Romanticism, an oppositional mode, artists have the right, and indeed the duty, to attack social convention. But it is ridiculous and in fact self-infantilizing for them to expect to be financially supported by the general public whom they are insulting.
  • Eroticism is mystique; that is, the aura of emotion and imagination around sex. It cannot be 'fixed' by codes of social or moral convenience, whether from the political left or right. For nature's fascism is greater than that of any society. There is a daemonic instability in sexual relations that we may have to accept.
  • Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
  • I don't like reality shows and have never watched them, but I'm addicted to 'Real Housewives' because it's authentic old-time soap opera reborn!
  • '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.
  • 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.
  • My grandfather worked in a shoe factory - he was an Italian immigrant. My father was the first to go to college in the family.
  • It is capitalist America that produced the modern independent woman. Never in history have women had more freedom of choice in regard to dress, behavior, career, and sexual orientation.
  • Capitalism has its weaknesses. But it is capitalism that ended the stranglehold of the hereditary aristocracies, raised the standard of living for most of the world and enabled the emancipation of women.
  • My generation of the Sixties, with all our great ideals, destroyed liberalism, because of our excesses.
Camille Paglia-Quotes
  • Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.
  • 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.
  • Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.
  • Nature is always pulling the rug out from under our pompous ideals.
  • 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.
  • Teenage boys, goaded by their surging hormones run in packs like the primal horde. They have only a brief season of exhilarating liberty between control by their mothers and control by their wives.
  • 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 1970 s.
  • Straight men who visit prostitutes are valiantly striving to keep sex free from emotion, duty, family--in other words, from society, religion, and procreative Mother Nature.
  • Over the past 20 years, I have noticed that the most flexible, dynamic, inquisitive minds among my students have been industrial design majors. Industrial designers are bracingly free of ideology and cant. The industrial designer is trained to be a clear-eyed observer of the commercial world - which, like it or not, is modern reality.
  • Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity. It is the past, not the dizzy present, that is the best door to the future.
Camille Paglia-Quotes
  • Uncritical American boosterism - automatic endorsement of every government action - is myopic and self-defeating.
  • Pornography is human imagination in tense theatrical action; its violations are a protest against the violations of our freedom by nature.
  • Now that virtually every career is an option for ambitious girls, it can no longer be considered regressive or reactionary to reintroduce discussion of marriage and motherhood to primary education. We certainly do not want to return to the simplistic duality of home economics classes for girls and wood shop for boys.
  • We cannot have a world where everyone is a victim. "I'm this way because my father made me this way. I'm this way because my husband made me this way." Yes, we are indeed formed by traumas that happen to us. But then you must take charge, you must take over, you are responsible.
  • Woman is the dominant sex. Men have to do all sorts of stuff to prove that they are worthy of woman's attention.
  • Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.
  • 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.
  • Beauty is our escape from the murky flesh-envelope that imprisons us.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cats are autocrats of naked self-interest. They are both amoral and immoral, consciously breaking rules. Their ''evil'' look at such times is no human projection: the cat may be the only animal who savors the perverse or reflects upon it
  • 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.
  • Enough already of Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault poured like ketchup over everything. Lacan: the French fog machine; a grey-flannel worry-bone for toothless academic pups; a twerpy, cape-twirling Dracula dragging his flocking stooges to the crypt. Lacan is a Freud T-shirt shrunk down to the teeny-weeny Saussure torso. The entire school of Saussure, inluding Levi-Strauss, write their muffled prose of people with cotton wool wrapped around their heads; they're like walking Q-tips. Derrida: a Gloomy Gus one-trick pony, stuck on a rhetorical trope already available in the varied armory of New Criticism. Derrida's method: masturbating without pleasure. It's a birdbrain game for birdseed stakes. Neo-Foucaldian New Historicism: a high-wax bowling alley where you score points just by knockng down the pins.
  • We must accept our pain, Change what we can and laugh at the rest.
Camille-Paglia Quotes
  • Anti-religious sneers are a hallmark of perpetual adolescents.
  • Western science is a product of the Apollonian mind: its hope is that by naming and classification, by the cold light of intellect, archaic night can be pushed back and defeated.
  • Though men may be deep, mentally they are slow.
  • The western mind makes definitions; it draws lines.
  • What has been forgotten is that there were major intellectual breakthroughs in the 1960s, thanks to North American writers of an older generation. There was a rupture in continuity, since most young people influenced by those breakthroughs did not enter the professions.
  • 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.
  • I've always felt that the obligation of teachers is to have a huge, broad overview and to provide a foundation course to the students. The long view of history is absolutely crucial.
  • I guess I'm just a natural warrior.
  • Modern bodybuilding is ritual, religion, sport, art, and science, awash in Western chemistry and mathematics. Defying nature, it surpasses it.
  • There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.
  • Out with stereotypes, feminism proclaims. But stereotypes are the west's stunning sexual personae, the vehicles of art's assault against nature. The moment there is imagination, there is myth.
  • liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother.
  • The 1990s, after the reign of terror of academic vandalism, will be a decade of restoration: restoration of meaning, value, beauty, pleasure, and emotion to art and restoration of art to its audience.
  • If people want to be better writers, they can't just read the blogs! You've got to look at something that's outside this rushing world of evanescent words.
  • The Earth is littered with the ruins of empires that believed they were eternal.
Camille Paglia-Quotes
  • I remember turning 'The Sopranos' on once and within two minutes nearly throwing a brick through the screen.
  • I don't feel less because I'm in the presence of a beautiful person. I don't go, oh, I'll never be that beautiful! What a ridiculous attitude to take! ....When men look at sports, when they look at football, they don't go, oh, I'll never be that fast!, I'll never be that strong!
  • I regard affirmative action as pernicious - a system that had wonderful ideals when it started but was almost immediately abused for the benefit of white middle-class women.
  • 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 believe that everybody has the right to view his or her own body as a palette. However, I think intellectuals should at least try to be role models.
  • Music never dies. Do we really need another Madonna tour? Does she have to compete with women performers 25 years her junior?
  • My advice to the reader approaching a poem is to make the mind still and blank. Let the poem speak. This charged quiet mimics the blank space ringing the printed poem, the nothing out of which something takes shape.
  • Students are very gullible about the web. The only way you can really sort out information on the web is if you've had a prior training in book culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.