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Camille Paglia quotes (showing 1-30 of 61)

“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.”
Camille Paglia
“Charisma is the numinous aura around a narcissistic personality. It flows outward from a simplicity or unity of being and a composure and controlled vitality. There is gracious accommodation, yet commanding impersonality. Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self love.”
Camille Paglia
“Men chase by night those they will not greet by day.”
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
tags: sex
“The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men, but rather their conqueror, an outlaw, who controls the sexual channels between nature and culture”
Camille Paglia
“Gay men are guardians of the masculine impulse. To have anonymous sex in a dark alleyway is to pay homage to the dream of male freedom. The unknown stranger is a wandering pagan god. The altar, as in pre-history, is anywhere you kneel.”
Camille Paglia
“Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.”
Camille Paglia
“Art is something out of the ordinary commenting on the ordinary.”
Camille Paglia
“We must accept our pain
Change what we can
and laugh at the rest”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“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. ”
Camille Paglia
“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. ”
Camille Paglia
“If you live in rock and roll, as I do, you see the reality of sex, of male lust and women being aroused by male lust. It attracts women. It doesn't repel them.”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“Moralism and ignorance are responsible for the constant stereotyping of prostitutes by their lowest common denominator -- the sick, strung-out addicts, couched on city stoops, who turn tricks for drug money. . . . The most successful prostitutes in history have been invisible. That invisibility was produced by their high intelligence, which gives them the power to perceive, and move freely but undetected in the social frame. The prostitute is a superb analyst, not only in evading the law but in initiating the unique constellation of convention and fantasy that produces a stranger’s orgasm. She lives by her wits as much as her body. She is a psychologist, actor, and dancer, a performance artist of hyper-developed sexual imagination.”
Camille Paglia, Vamps & Tramps: New Essays
“Old school feminism, coveting social power, is blind to woman's cosmic sexual power. ”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“Criticism at its best is re-creative, not spirit-killing.”
Camille Paglia, Break, Blow, Burn
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
“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”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia
“Poetry is the way into a spiritual vision of society and the universe.”
Camille Paglia
“Venus of Willendorf carries her cave with her. She is blind, masked. Her ropes of corn-row hair look forward to the invention agriculture. She has a furrowed brow. Her facelessness is the impersonality of primitive sex and religion. There is no psychology or identity yet, because there is no society, no cohesion. Men cower and scatter at the blast of the elements. Venus of Willendorf is eyeless because nature can be seen but not known. She is remote even as she kills and creates. The statuette, so overflowing and protuberant, is ritually invisible. She stifles the eye. She is the cloud of archaic night.”
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
“Pornography is human imagination in tense theatrical action; its violations are a protest against the violations of our freedom by nature.”
Camille Paglia
“The male orientation of classical Athens was inseparable from its genius. Athens became great not despite but because of its misogyny.”
Camille Paglia
“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.”
Camille Paglia, Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays
“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.”
Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae
“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
“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!”
Camille Paglia

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Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson Sexual Personae
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Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays Sex, Art, and American Culture
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Break, Blow, Burn Break, Blow, Burn
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Vamps & Tramps: New Essays Vamps & Tramps
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