Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson

Overview

From ancient Egypt through the nineteenth century, Sexual Personae explores the provocative connections between art and pagan ritual; between Emily Dickinson and the Marquis de Sade; between Lord Byron and Elvis Presley. It ultimately challenges the cultural assumptions of both conservatives and traditional liberals. 47 photographs.

From ancient Egypt through the nineteenth century, Sexual Personae explores the provocative connections between art and pagan ritual; ...

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Overview

From ancient Egypt through the nineteenth century, Sexual Personae explores the provocative connections between art and pagan ritual; between Emily Dickinson and the Marquis de Sade; between Lord Byron and Elvis Presley. It ultimately challenges the cultural assumptions of both conservatives and traditional liberals. 47 photographs.

From ancient Egypt through the nineteenth century, Sexual Personae explores the provocative connections between art and pagan ritual; between Emily Dickinson and the Marquis de Sade; between Lord Byron and Elvis Presley. It ultimately challenges the cultural assumptions of both conservatives and traditional liberals. 47 photographs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679735793
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1991
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 266,313
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 1.45 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nature Will Never Be The Same

    After this book, nature was never the same again. I think the biggest compliment I could give Camille Paglia, the most important thinker of our time, is that I named my beloved cat after her. Mostly because of page 62, where she does this great essay on felines, the last animal to be domesticated by man. Sometimes I feel that my life has two parts, before and after Sexual Personae. I had not seen her chatter box celebrity personality on TV, and I guess I missed the reviews about the book, because I did not know about it until one of my best friends, who was a member of that stupid paperback book club, received the book in the mail because he did not fill out the right form. He read the first chapter and called me and said, you have to read this book. So, I ordered it. The dude was right on. Paglia articulated everything I was thinking and half the things I wished I was thinking about. She makes us think for our selves. She makes us make up our own minds. Her sweeping sentences are like a verbal version of a Jimi Hendrix solo. I had to read so many other books afterwards-like Jung and Rape of The Locke and Wordsworth and De Bouveir-just to get on the same footing, and I re-read and rediscovered other books, like Balzac's Sperphitia or Girl with the Golden Eyes, not to mention Poe, Huysman and Dickinson. Reading Sexual Persona is like reading three dozen books. More importantly, she makes literature matter. She makes literature immediate to our lives. It's amusing that she is such a celebrity now, spouting rapid fire sound bites about feminists and topical crap. Everybody knows her, but few have digested this book. If you have not read this book, you are illiterate. End of story. She is the most important thinker of our time. Shut up, get off camera and finish the promised sequel, Ms. Paglia. After reading this book, you want to ask her about all your favorite writers, just to hear her opinion and interpretation. Even when I disagree with her-like her opinion of Joseph Campbell for example-I'm still fascinated. She talks about how every time she sees something, she sees 5,000 years of history. So do I, Ms. Paglia. After reading you, now I know why. timothyherrick.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    This book was humbling yet it made me feel so smart!

    The more you can bring to this book the more you will get out of it. Not just anthropology or a knowledge of ancient societies but literature, feminism and the pictorial arts--but let's not be snobs, a healthy appreciation for pop culture won't hurt. Now, I am not well-versed in most of these fields but I know some of them well enough that Paglia provided entry-ways into this book, which I consider to be one of the most significant of the 1990s. 'Sexual Personae' isn't difficult because her writing style is difficult--it isn't--but because her insights are so visionary and fresh. This book is intellectual dynamite: practically every page has a synapse of insight firing from one intellectual field to another; the fresh connections are liberating. This is the sort of endeavor most college faculty aren't trained to do and so have made up the myth that it isn't quite 'right' to do so--until someone like Paglia comes along and turns their effete ramblings inside out. Roughly speaking, as art presents itself through the lens of myth, so we present ourselves as works of art in a continuing dialog of presentation and re-presentation. For example, Paglia makes a great case for Elvis Presley as a 'Byronic' figure. No kidding! It takes guts to cut across conventions of 'high' and 'low' culture, to cross gender boundaries, and Paglia is one gutsy lady. This book changed my life, and I still need to read it a couple more times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2000

    Fabulous

    This book is excellent. Paglia is modern literature's Amazon! She fiercely swings her club about, laying waste to Titans! Some people have called her sexist - this is nonsense. Paglia is a realist, and looks at sex in a way that is unpalatable to people who still think human beings are perfectible. She is the perfect voice for a culture that has seen Auschwitz, Hiroshima/Nagasaki, the Vietnam War, etc. She acknowledges the fact that social controls - on sex as well as on violence - are necessary and valuable. This does not make her a conservative - rather, she is a woman unafraid to look at the world without rose coloured glasses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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