Tomorrow I will force myself to return Camille Paglia’s Glittering Images to the library, convincing myself that  Dante’s Inferno has a special circle of hell for librarians who don’t return books on time.  That act will mark the official beginning of my exploration of Camille Paglia, a cultural critic, who  is an intellectual, an atheist,  a lesbian, a political conservative and a general plague on both your houses type of person.  How does one person become and draw strength from  those contradictions (and would she like me if we met)?

Glittering Images is a concise 29 image with essay survey of art history.  Image number one is a wall painting of Egyptian Queen Nefertari; image number 29 is an episode from the Star Wars prequel. Paglia wrote the book because she passionately believes that “the only road to freedom is self-education in art.” and that the conservatives, post modernists and artists have made art a marginal activity.  This sentence explains the use of the word force in the first sentence;  I haven’t exhausted the ways this book can assist with my self-education by turning my eye to the arrangement of paint on the canvas and my mind to the sexuality of the image.

A sentence to end on-“American culture has become unbalanced by its obsession with the blood sport of politics, a voracious vortex consuming everything in its path. History shows that, for both individuals and nations, political power is transient.”

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