Break, Blow, Burn

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photoCamille Paglia exploded onto the American public scene 15 years ago with her first book, "Sexual Personae." Since, the cultural critic has argued passionately for feminism and against mainstream feminists, for popular culture and against elitism.

Now, Camille Paglia has the legacy of art, poetry in particular, in her sights. In her new book, "Break, Blow, Burn," Paglia explores and celebrates 43 of what she calls the world's best poems.

In a world ruled by memory-free materialism and grinding geopolitics, Paglia says, poetry can light the spirit and feed the soul. America's academic world is failing, she argues, to keep that connection alive. But, poetry, she says, belongs to us all.

Hear a conversation with Paglia on rescuing Western culture through its poetry.


Camille Paglia is professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her previous books are "Sexual Personae," "Sex, Art, and American Culture," and "Vamps and Tramps." Her new book is "Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads 43 of the World's Best Poems."

This program aired on April 11, 2005.


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