Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson

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9780679735793: Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson

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.

47 photographs.

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

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