Oddities and atrocities : A preliminary study of Camille Pagli
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis examines the work of Camille Paglia as a critic of literature and the academy. Its aim is to focus on Paglia as a critic rather than as a controversial public figure. Much of the criticism on Paglia tends to deal with her from a political angle, critiquing, for example, her conservative views and her attacks on feminism. Paglia's criticism of the academy and feminism will be touched upon, but the intended focus is on Paglia as an art critic rather than as a controversial social commentator, particularly on sexual mores and feminism. The first two chapters deal with Paglia's style, showing how it differs from academic convention and its consequent degree of persuasiveness. Next, Paglia's theory and methodology is outlined and examined. Finally, I will assess Paglia's criticism of literature and feminist aesthetic theory. My thesis finds Paglia largely unpersuasive, but concedes that some of her ideas and critiques are legitimate particularly in the areas of literary criticism and feminist aesthetics.