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Emily Smith on Camille Paglia and Western Culture

by Eric C. Simpson

Posted: Dec 17, 2012 03:06 PM

Image via
The Daily Beast.

The New Criterion’s Emily Esfahani Smith recently sat down with cultural critic Camille Paglia to discuss her new book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars. The two discussed Ms. Paglia’s career as a writer and educator, as well as the decline of Western art and its loss of spirituality:

For Paglia, the spiritual quest defines all great art—all art that lasts. But in our secular age, the liberal crusade against religion has also taken a toll on art. “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination,” Paglia writes. “Yet that cynical posture has become de rigueur in the art world—simply another reason for the shallow derivativeness of so much contemporary art, which has no big ideas left.”

Read the full piece at The Daily Beast.

Also be sure to read TNC managing editor James Panero’s recent review of Glittering Images in City Journal.

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( AHR-mah wih-ROOM-kweh)


In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil sang of "arms and a man" (Arma virumque cano). Month in and month out, The New Criterion expounds with great clarity and wit on the art, culture, and political controversies of our times. With postings of reviews, essays, links, recs, and news, Armavirumque seeks to continue this mission in accordance with the timetable of the digital age.


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