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Vamps & Tramps: New Essays

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  739 Ratings  ·  43 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.
Paperback, 532 pages
Published October 11th 1994 by Vintage (first published October 10th 1994)
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Fuck Camille Paglia.

Yeah, I said it.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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).
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminist, essays, lgbt
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
Apr 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.]
Orna Ross
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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,
Nat Wichrowska
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a fun read, but Paglia is at her best talking about art & poetry. For the most part, reading this collection of columns, essays, transcripts and excerpts felt like flipping through a magazine or scrap book. If you don't already love her, this isn't where you'll start. If you do, reading this feels like getting together for many, many cups of coffee with that crazy friend who does all the talking.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
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).
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
May 28, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Sabrina Chapadjiev
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it
great bathroom reading.
Randy Russberg
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although a collection of formerly published essays, Camille Paglia is always entertaining, insightful and original. As well as her chosen topics.
Jojo Cho
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting revisiting Dr. Paglia's worldview between 60s and 90s, concerning sexual orientation and Feminism. Wonderful proses.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Robert Holm
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who call themselves feminists
I strongly applaud Paglia's uncompromising stance against the harridans of second-wave feminism, and that's the highlight of the early sections of the book (No Law in the Arena, The Culture Wars). However, Paglia's arguments are sometimes fatally marred by her over-reliance on Freudian psychoanalytical bullshit - if only she had ditched that, her thoughts on feminism would have been much improved. The rest of the book is uneven. There's way too much filler (transcripts of TV appearances, a colle ...more
je sais pas. j'ai trouvé son point de vue drole, agaçant, j'ai été outré, mais ça m'a fait réfléchir. La seule chose que je peux dire c'est qu'elle hait la bienséance. Elle est totalement opposée à cela, elle dit (par exemple) que les féministes conservatrices (blanches) anti porno, anti sexualité devraient se faire violer. Ce qui n'est jamais une chose à dire, elle hiérarchise les violeurs, ce qui est tout à fait impensable.
Mais tout ce qu'elle soulève ce sont des questions, des débats qui pou
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Vamps & Tramps makes clear that Paglia shines at extremes. In some essays she is a tenderhearted patron of the arts. In others, an amazonian warrior hunting her prey. This is illustrated by my two favourite essays in the collection: "My Brothers in Crime: Benderson, Jarratt, Feld, Fessenden" and "Sontag, Bloody Sontag". The former is a tribute to her best friends and their influence on her scholarship, two of whom had died of AIDS when the essay was published. The later is an attack on late ...more
Kate O'Hanlon
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, essays
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).
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
You will hate this woman & her conclusions...until you realize she is dead on. One of the best counterintuitive writers in the business & a true radical thinker who will dissolve many of your preconceptions, especially if you come from the mainstream Left. a dangerous writer in the best possible sense.
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 24, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
May 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
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.
Deborah Brown
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesting views of our culture.Controversial and original.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-gay-gay
I remember this being my favorite book by Camille Paglia, but I can't really say why.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book here is the main guilty one I ended up where I am, academically - for better or for worse.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kris Rafferty
Aug 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Word salad.
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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...
“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.” 16 likes
“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” 1 likes
More quotes…