Camille Paglia on Her Lifestyle of Observation and Lamb Vindaloo | Conversations with Tyler
In a riveting conversation with Tyler Cowen, Camille Paglia, a renowned cultural critic, delves into a myriad of topics.
She discusses the influence of technology on culture, the state of contemporary fiction, parenting, gender relations, and her work on Native American culture.
She also shares her thoughts on popular culture, education, her experience with Harold Bloom, and her fascination with Amelia Earhart.
Not to forget, her love for Indian food, particularly lamb vindaloo.
The Study of Native American Culture
The study of Native American culture at the end of the Ice Age can contribute to a broader understanding of Native American culture beyond the common narratives of genocide and disaster.
This work focuses on the religious and metaphysical aspects of the culture, and how they perceived the forces of nature as spirit entities.
Music and Popular Culture
The music of the 1960s and 70s, including artists like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, is timeless and still sounds fresh today.
However, the current state of the music industry has become formulaic and doesn’t allow young artists to develop their talents over time.
These women, like Amelia Earhart, they did not bad mouth men. They admired men. They admired what men had done. What they said was, ‘We demand equal opportunity for women,’ which gave us the opportunity to show that we can achieve at the same level as men who did all these great things. – Camille Paglia
The State of Education
Students are not being adequately prepared, especially in the areas of world history and geography.
Online education lacks the human touch, and teaching methods in Ivy League schools are formulaic and produce polished, bourgeois clones.
I feel that the basis of my work is not only the care I take with writing, with my quality controls, my pros, but also my observation. It’s 24/7. I’m always observing. – Camille Paglia
Experience with Harold Bloom
Working with literary critic Harold Bloom provided the support and confidence needed to persevere through rejection and get work published.
His understanding of her ideas was instrumental in her success.
Opinions on Various Topics
Economics is underrated, William Faulkner should still be on the reading list, and despite her contributions to conceptual art, Yoko Ono is one of her least favorite people.
Views on Amelia Earhart and Feminism
Amelia Earhart and other career women of the 1920s and ’30s were admired for demanding equal opportunities for women, rather than criticizing men.
This approach led to becoming a feminist before the revival of second-wave feminism.
Lifestyle of Observation
Constant observation is the basis of her work.
Avoiding academic conferences, she prefers to listen to conversations in everyday settings like shopping malls and radio shows, particularly sports shows, as they provide a window into the perspectives of working-class people.
Love for Indian Food
A love for Indian food, particularly lamb vindaloo, is a constant in her life.
Despite the variety of dishes available, she finds herself unable to order anything else whenever she visits an Indian restaurant.