Camille Paglia – Sexual Personae

Received and started reading Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia. The book that made her famous as a radical feminist but who also “identifies” as transgender and has been a critic of post-modernism’s consequences. Clearly someone of intellectual subtlety – and balls – on a topic that exemplifies our (21stC) modern polarisation predicament at a time when we desperately need careful discourse to make progress.

(Hat tip to Lila @commonclione for the recommendation).

Only just started the read, and already loving the style, so I expect I will digest the whole. Here an early sample:

Western love is a displacement of cosmic realities. It is a defense mechanism rationalizing forces ungoverned and ungovernable.

Sex cannot be understood because nature cannot be understood. Science is a method of logical analysis of nature’s operations … But science is always playing catch-up … Science cannot avert a single thunderbolt. Western science is a product of the Appollonian mind: its hope is that by naming and classifying, by the cold light of intellect, archaic night can be pushed back and defeated.

Name and person are part of the west’s quest for form. The west insists on the discrete identity of objects. To name is to know; the know is to control. I will demonstrate that the west’s greatness arises from this delusional certitude.

Our delusional certitude. Spot on.

The traditional contrast to Appollonian is Dionysian, but she uses “chthonian” instead – from the bowels of the earth. Being post-modern whilst criticising post-modernism is the trick. I call myself PoPoMo (post-post-modernist). The naming and classifying problem is my #GoodFences vs #IdentityPolitics agenda. Lots to look forward to.

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