Sunday, April 09, 2006

Camille Paglia at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Tuesday!

Camille Paglia, one of my idols, is speaking on “Art and Politics in Literary Criticism” at the Union Theater in the Memorial Union on Tuesday, that's April 11, at 7:30 p.m. Here is an image of the poster publicizing the event.

Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson; Sex, Art, and American Culture; Vamps & Tramps: New Essays; and The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock. Her fifth book, Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems became an surprize national bestseller.

The occasion of her talk is the last of these books, which takes an approach toward understanding poetry that is quite different from the one now fashionable. Her methodology is in some ways traditional, almost old-fashioned, but in her hands it is undeniably interesting and insightful.

If we are very, very lucky, this book will encourage people who teach literature go back to doing close readings of texts, and forget about "doing theory" (which is obviously not the thing that almighty God designed them to do!).