Study Guide

Camille Paglia Files

Rough Notes for my Book on Why Academics and Self-Righteous Feminists are Full of It

Thoughts on Tone

  • My editor has suggested that I shouldn't rant too much. Makes me think I need a new editor… ? I do the whole "rant" thing so well, and I'm unrivaled when it comes to one-liners. People expect me to be scathing, so I'm not sure what can be done there. Will brainstorm further on this one.

What really is my beef with academics?

  • Sort of tricky, because I am one. But I'm more than that—I'm a pundit and a radical public intellectual. 
  • A thought: academics are careerists. All they care about is getting to the top. Top of what? Hmm.
  • So much sloppy thinking. They are just so slapdash. Don't want to over-toot my own horn, but my work looks at the entire arc of Western Culture, whereas most academics can't be bothered to understand where all of the trendy modern ideas they use came from. Angels on the head of a pin, I say. I mean, you can't study Foucault without first studying Freud. If you think you know anything about Derrida, you'd better read Plato first, because that's where Frenchie got all of his ideas. Revolutionary thinker, my eye.
  • Definitely a chapter on how French Post-Structuralism and postmodernism sent us back to the Pleistocene Era. I mean, how helpful is Hélène Cixous's whole "écriture féminine" and "phallogocentrism" bit? I, for one, have had it up to here with the whole male-female divide. Maybe not writing a chapter on French theory would suggest that it doesn't even warrant its own chapter…? Too clever? Will have to chew on that.
  • Have I said the last word on Susan Sontag, Naomi Wolf, Carolyn Heilbrun, Marjorie Garber, et al?
  • The whole elite thing really bugs me. All these academics only want to teach rich white kids. Well, sorry, but we have a whole nation to educate. I've taught factory workers. Do you think Judith Butler can say that?

Definitely a chapter or two on the death of the humanities.

  • No exaggeration to say "death." I mean, "the murdering of the humanities" would be no hyperbole, either, but people can only handle so much. Small doses, my editor tells me.
  • Premise: too much identity politics and not enough ideas. So much vanity. Corruption. Cronyism. Everyone's a victim. Get a grip!
  • Who does any fresh research these days? It's all about jumping on the bandwagon. People are afraid to go rogue. So trendy to be a fist-pumping lefty and embrace diversity... as long as it's lefty diversity, which is no diversity at all.

Introduction and Blurbs

  • These will be tough ones. I'm not sure who I can get to pitch in on this front. The whole Athena born out of Zeus's head thing I have going on with Harold Bloom may be played out. Plus, he just isn't that rock 'n' roll. I need a hipster intellectual… someone from McSweeney's? Oh, how about Michel Houellebecq? He's one gnarly guy—but he could outshine me, and we can't have that. Plus, I don't think he's ever laughed. Gotta get some giggles in there.
  • Could do my own intro, but I've given a lot of heat to other people who include interviews of themselves in their own books. There may be a workaround.
  • Blurbs are going to be tougher, because everyone hates me. And why wouldn't they? I'm an intellectual colossus. May have to do some crafty editing on otherwise negative reviews… Can't over think this part now.

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