Vamps & Tramps, by Camille Paglia
Camille Paglia, the self-appointed enfant terrible of the academy, feminism, and the art world, is the author of Sexual Personae, a 700-page scholarly work which in 1990 became a surprise best-seller. She is probably best known, though, for her punchy and controversial op-ed articles, one of which praised the rock star Madonna for her outrageous sexuality and another of which attacked the anti-date-rape movement for misleading young women about the true nature of sexual liaisons. These op-eds were reprinted, along with other articles, in her Sex, Art, and American Culture (1992).
Paglia is also a woman with, to put it mildly, an outsized sense of herself as a public figure. One sign of this is that she is pleased with every review she has ever received—a condition most writers can only dream of. Her trick is simple. If someone agrees with her, she praises his intelligence and integrity. If someone criticizes her, she takes that as confirmation that she is a brilliant iconoclast, misunderstood in her own time. We know all this because at the back of her books Paglia publishes a “media chronicle” excerpting every reference to her that has appeared since her last work, complete with her own annotations like: “One of the best analyses yet of Paglia’s thought.”
About the Author