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 :: 1947-, American Author, Critic, Educator

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My generation of the Sixties, with all our great ideals, destroyed liberalism, because of our excesses.
~ Camille Paglia - [Twentieth Century]

 

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My thinking tends to be libertarian. That is, I oppose intrusions of the state into the private realm -- as in abortion, sodomy, prostitution, pornography, drug use, or suicide, all of which I would strongly defend as matters of free choice in a representative democracy.
~ Camille Paglia - [Anarchism]

 

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Our major universities are now stuck with an army of pedestrian, toadying careerists, Fifties types who wave around Sixties banners to conceal their record of ruthless, beaver-like tunneling to the top.
~ Camille Paglia - [Colleges and Universities]

 

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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.
~ Camille Paglia - [Stereotypes]

 

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Popular culture is the new Babylon, into which so much art and intellect now flow. It is our imperial sex theater, supreme temple of the western eye. We live in the age of idols. The pagan past, never dead, flames again in our mystic hierarchies of stardom.
~ Camille Paglia - [Popular Culture]

 

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Pornography is human imagination in tense theatrical action; its violations are a protest against the violations of our freedom by nature.
~ Camille Paglia - [Pornography]

 

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Pregnancy demonstrates the deterministic character of woman's sexuality. Every pregnant woman has body and self taken over by a chthonian force beyond her control. In the welcome pregnancy, this is a happy sacrifice. But in the unwanted one, initiated by rape or misadventure, it is a horror. Such unfortunate women look directly into nature's heart of Darkness. For a fetus is a benign tumor, a vampire who steals in order to live. The so-called miracle of birth is nature getting her own way.
~ Camille Paglia - [Pregnancy]

 

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Prostitution is not just a service industry, mopping up the overflow of male demand, which always exceeds female supply. Prostitution testifies to the amoral power struggle of sex, which religion has never been able to stop. Prostitutes, pornographers, and their patrons are marauders in the forest of archaic night.
~ Camille Paglia - [Prostitution]

 

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Pursuit and seduction are the essence of sexuality. It's part of the sizzle.
~ Camille Paglia - [Seduction]

 

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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 - [Adolescence]

 

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Television is actually closer to reality than anything in books. The madness of TV is the madness of human life.
~ Camille Paglia - [Television]

 

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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.
~ Camille Paglia - [Twentieth Century]

 

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The greatest honor that can be paid to the work of art, on its pedestal of ritual display, is to describe it with sensory completeness. We need a science of description. Criticism is ceremonial revivification.
~ Camille Paglia - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men but rather their conqueror, an outlaw who controls the sexual channel between nature and culture.
~ Camille Paglia - [Prostitution]

 

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The trauma of the Sixties persuaded me that my generation's egalitarianism was a sentimental error. I now see the hierarchical as both beautiful and necessary. Efficiency liberates; egalitarianism tangles, delays, blocks, deadens.
~ Camille Paglia - [Equality]

 

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The visual is sorely undervalued in modern scholarship. Art history has attained only a fraction of the conceptual sophistication of literary criticism. Drunk with self-love, criticism has hugely overestimated the centrality of language to western culture. It has failed to see the electrifying sign language of images.
~ Camille Paglia - [Image]

 

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There are no accidents, only nature throwing her weight around. Even the bomb merely releases energy that nature has put there. Nuclear war would be just a spark in the grandeur of space. Nor can radiation ''alter'' nature: she will absorb it all. After the bomb, nature will pick up the cards we have spilled, shuffle them, and begin her game again.
~ Camille Paglia - [Nuclear Age]

 

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There is no true expertise in the humanities without knowing all of the humanities. Art is a vast, ancient interconnected web-work, a fabricated tradition. Over-concentration on any one point is a distortion.
~ Camille Paglia - [Arts and Artists]

 

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We need a new kind of feminism, one that stresses personal responsibility and is open to art and sex in all their dark, unconsoling mysteries. The feminist of the fin de siFcle will be bawdy, streetwise, and on-the-spot confrontational, in the prankish Sixties way.
~ Camille Paglia - [Feminism]

 

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We should teach general ethics to both men and women, but sexual relationships themselves must not be policed. Sex, like the city streets, would be risk-free only in totalitarian regimes.
~ Camille Paglia - [Sex]

 

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