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Sexual Personae : Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson - Camille Paglia

Sexual Personae

Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson

Paperback Published: 1st September 1991
ISBN: 9780679735793
Number Of Pages: 736
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Here is the fiery, provocative, and unparalleled work of feminist art criticism that launched Camille Paglia's exceptional career as one of our most important public intellectuals. Is Emily Dickinson the female Sade? Is Donatello's David a bit of pedophile pornography? What is the secret kinship between Byron and Elvis Presley, between Medusa and Madonna? How do liberals and feminists as well as conservatives fatally misread human nature?

This audacious and omnivorously learned work of guerrilla scholarship offers nothing less than a unified-field theory of Western culture, high and low, since Egyptians invented beauty making a persuasive case for all art as a pagan battleground between male and female, form and chaos, civilization and daemonic nature.

Includes 47 photographs.

About the Author

Camille Paglia is the University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. A regular contributor to Salon.com, she is the author of Glittering Images; Break, Blow, Burn; Sexual Personae; Sex, Art, and American Culture; and Vamps & Tramps.

Industry Reviews

"A remarkable book, at once outrageous and compelling, fanatical and brilliant. . . . One must be awed by [Paglia's] vast energy, erudition and wit." --The Washington Post

"Sexual Personae [is] an enormous sensation of a book, in all the better senses of 'sensation.' There is no book comparable in scope, stance, design or insight." --Harold Bloom "The ability to infuriate both antagonists in an ideological struggle is often a sign of a first-rate book. . . . [Paglia] is a conspicuously gifted writer . . . and an admirably close reader with a hard core of common sense." --The New York Times Book Review

"Paglia marshals a vast array of . . . cultural materials with an authorial voice derived from sixties acid-rock lead guitar. . . . Close to poetry." --Greil Marcus, author of Lipstick Traces

"This book is a red comet in a smog-filled sky. . . . Brilliant." --The Nation

List of Illustrations ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xiv

1. Sex and Violence, or Nature and Art 1
2. The Birth of the Western Eye 40
3. Apollo and Dionysus 72
4. Pagan Beauty 99
5. Renaissance Form: Italian Art 140
6. Spenser and Apollo: The Faerie Queene 170
7. Shakespeare and Dionysus: As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra 194
8. Return of the Great Mother: Rousseau vs. Sade 230
9. Amazons, Mothers, Ghosts: Goethe to Gothic 248
10. Sex Bound and Unbound: Blake 270
11. Marriage to Mother Nature: Wordsworth 300
12. The Daemon as Lesbian Vampire: Coleridge 317
13. Speed and Space: Byron 347
14. Light and Heat: Shelley and Keats 365
15. Cults of Sex and Beauty: Balzac 389
16. Cults of Sex and Beauty: Gautier, Baudelaire, and Huysmans 408
17. Romantic Shadows: Emily Bronte 439
18. Romantic Shadows: Swinburne and Pater 460
19. Apollo Daemonized: Decadent Art 489
20. The Beautiful Boy as Destroyer: Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray 512
21. The English Epicene: Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest 531
22. American Decadents: Poe, Hawthorne, Melville 572
23. American Decadents: Emerson, Whitman, James 598
24. Amherst's Madame de Sade: Emily Dickinson 623

Notes 675
Index 701

ISBN: 9780679735793
ISBN-10: 0679735798
Series: Vintage
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 736
Published: 1st September 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.34  x 3.81
Weight (kg): 0.69

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