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Vamps & Tramps: New Essays

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  615 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The bestselling author of Sexual Personae and Sex, Art, and American Culture is back with a fiery new collection of essays on everything from art and celebrity to gay activism, Lorena Bobbitt to Bill and Hillary. These essays have never appeared in book form, and many will be appearing in print for the first time.
Published October 26th 1995 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published October 10th 1994)
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Fuck Camille Paglia.

Yeah, I said it.
Ah, ma bon Camille...I stumbled across this title when I was reading other reviews on this site and I was charmed to find that I could glimpse, grunt a bit, and quietly murmur in that way known to the freakishly bookish "I read that."

It was in undergrad. Such an undergrad type of book. Her style is all meathooks and dynamite. Not to say it wasn't salient- I still shudder and remove myself from engaging with the more dense and sci-fi sterile tomes of Frenchified Filosophy- "gunk" was the fun and
I went to a college that believed, strongly believed, in a well rounded education. We had to take many courses that were outside of our major. A really good idea considering the state of education today. One of the courses I took for my distribution requirements was a sociology class that dealt with race and ethnicity. We had to buy and supposedly read three books for the class. I say supposedly because even though we were told to read This Bridge Called My Back Writings by Radical Women of Colo ...more
Q: What does 400 pound [metaphorically] contraversial gender theory intellectual write about?
A: Whatever She Wants.

[start with "sexual personae," to really get an idea of the substantive genius of Lady C. This is pure indulgent joy, with a lot of really sharp and eye opening cultural criticism lying around in the set dressing.]
Paglia is an acquired taste. She's fun and likes to push people's buttons. Whether or not you agree with her, she's a true original thinker (who is pretty full of herself).
I'd probably have given it five stars if it had been edited down somewhat.
Some of the stuff here is the boring kind of self-indulgent.
Some of it's great though.
The stuff on date rape and sexual harrassment pushes the envelope in the good way.
The stuff on domestic violence does so as well and flirts with crossing the line.
The bits on domestic violence and pedophilia come across ultimately as the kind of cavalier musings that someone who felt their childhood was too happy might entertain. I was, a
It was all a blur. I can't remember ....oh hang on, Yes, I got the book because some book club I belonged to sent it to me and I did not have time to run to the post to return it so they billed me for it so I thought I better read it now that it was around. Read it and then my friend who ended up as a teacher at some Top Universtiy asked me if I thought Camille Paglia "overstates" her case...and my response was,"Probably a little bit to make her point...but then the opposite side the stalinist-f ...more
Andrew Boomhower
I haven't actually finished this book, so I probably shouldn't have given it four stars or be writing a review on it, but here I am. Gender is one of the most fascinating things to read and think about, as is feminism, but it can also become really trying on one's patience when attempting to seek out an intelligent discussion on either topic. There is just something about privileged white females, all of them suddenly hyper-aware of the culturally inequitable position of women as they reach thei ...more
better to just read sexual personae, it'll let you look at the world through some camille-keyhole, and you can predict much of what's new here if you look through it right. but, sexual personae is very very fat. whereas this can be read in little bits before bed over a long time (though you may not be able to sleep afterwards).
finishing this book is like getting rid of a stomach virus. God I hated it. feminism is a wide spectrum if we both can fit underneath it with our views. though how feminist can one claim to be if they are not fighting for equality but against the concept of date rape existing? what a brave point of view there, definitely not just repeating a view that has been around from centuries, that any situation with sexual undertones is an "arena" that women have to "fight in" and "accept the consequences ...more
Orna Ross
I WANT to put the bomp back into the bomp-de-bomp’, roars a new book of essays on feminism, sex, popular culture, education and Madonna. Yes, you got it, it’s Camille Paglia time again.

The main thesis of Paglia’s latest rag-bag of ideas is that the missing piece in the feminist jigsaw is woman as vamp or tramp. The prostitute, the stripper, the high-glamour star, the seductress; these are “seasoned symbols of tough cookie feminism, my answer to the smug self-satisfaction and crass materialism of
Sandy Bookwitch
Haven't really read anything of hers for at least ten years and never had a copy of this one until a couple years ago. I've only been meaning to read it since it came out 20 years ago. Oh my...

So far it's rather self-indulgent, but I still love what her point of view was then. Since she started eschewing weird politics and criticizing Clinton for his sexual exploits (which seems highly hypocritical based on what her philosophies were in the early-mid 90s) on in the late 90s early '00s,
Mark Parsons
This is s reread from 20 years ago. I love Paglia's voice and much of what she had to say. What a cultural warrior!
Kate O'Hanlon
I always feel slightly schizophrenic reading Paglia, I firmly agree with roughtly half of what she says and virulently oppose the other half. The only trouble is that I'm never sure which half is which. Fearlessly principled and consistently engaging it's hard not to admire Paglia, even when she's coming off as a bit unhinged (hint, being raised Catholic and Italian does not give you superior powers of insight).
Kate S
Didn't read every section or essay, just sort of sampled around, but I enjoyed it. I admire Paglia's writing style.
This lady means business. Serious, lady business. Her opinions are pretty out there and often made me feel uncomfortable but always in a thought-provoking way. She's smart, she's tough, she's radical, she's quite a little crazy (and she's not comitting genocide), so kudos to Camille!
My Western Lit professor was slightly obsessed with Paglia and so we got to read and discuss many of her essays. She used to reference passages from this book and Sexual Personae on a regular basis. God I loved that class.
This is a combination of stellar, witty, brazen commentary and self-gratuitous reflections... Has outstanding moments and definitely shows a more liberal "feminism" than traditional/mainstream feminist thought.
This book is well-written& I enjoy Paglia's personality, but I don't think her points are argued in a way that makes them entirely relevant-- I am wary of intellectuals who choose to ignore whole movements.
Nora toomey
I think about the essay "sontag bloody sontag" probably once a day. The writing is frantic, obsessive, awesome, smart, crazy. I love this book so much. It makes me uncomfortable how much I love it.
Love her or hate her, Ms. Paglia always has a lot to say, and she says it well. She devours pop culture and spits it back out with insight and wit, with a decidedly individual 'feminist' agenda.
Krista R
Read this a zillion years ago. Don't remember much about it other than 1) I seem to recall having enjoyed it and 2) Paglia doesn't really think it's proper for lesbians to use strap-ons.
G. Branden
Camille Paglia's writing is nothing if not fiery, but I fear the metaphor may wear a bit too well, as it seems she has hardly published in the past ten years.
Not my kind of woman. She is full of more opinion than fact, and I tend to be on the other side of her arguments. Meh. Paglia.
Sep 05, 2009 Sherry marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Read the introduction and realized I should probably start with Sexual Personae before delving into this one.
This book here is the main guilty one I ended up where I am, academically - for better or for worse.
Sep 01, 2007 keatssycamore rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Porn loving chicks
Shelves: essays
I just read it to see what all the fuss was about.

At this point, I'd imagine it reads a little dated.
Malcolm Schwantler
Great book. I absolutely love her metaphor and finely crafted insults. Laugh out loud.
I remember this being my favorite book by Camille Paglia, but I can't really say why.
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Camille Anna Paglia is an American social critic, author and teacher. Her book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, published in 1990, became a bestseller. She is a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She has been variously called the "feminist that other feminists love to hate," a "post-feminist fe
More about Camille Paglia...
Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays Break, Blow, Burn Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars The Birds

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“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.” 8 likes
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