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Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars (Paperback)
WIth full-color illustrations throughout
From the best-selling author of Sexual Personae and Break, Blow, Burn and one of our most acclaimed cultural critics, here is an enthralling journey through Western art’s defining moments, from the ancient Egyptian tomb of Queen Nefertari to George Lucas’s volcano planet duel in Revenge of the Sith.
America’s premier intellectual provocateur returns to the subject that brought her fame, the great themes of Western art. Passionately argued, brilliantly written, and filled with Paglia’s trademark audacity, Glittering Images takes us on a tour through more than two dozen seminal images, some famous and some obscure or unknown—paintings, sculptures, architectural styles, performance pieces, and digital art that have defined and transformed our visual world. She combines close analysis with background information that situates each artist and image within its historical context—from the stone idols of the Cyclades to an elegant French rococo interior to Jackson Pollock’s abstract Green Silver to Renée Cox’s daring performance piece Chillin’ with Liberty. And in a stunning conclusion, she declares that the avant-garde tradition is dead and that digital pioneer George Lucas is the world’s greatest living artist. Written with energy, erudition, and wit, Glittering Images is destined to change the way we think about our high-tech visual environment.
About the Author
Camille Paglia is University Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of four previous books: Break, Blow, Burn; Sexual Personae; Sex, Art, and American Culture; and Vamps & Tramps. She has also written The Birds, a study of Alfred Hitchcock.
Praise for Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars…
“A magisterial, poetically composed, and masterly study. . . . Paglia writes rhapsodically of art’s power. . . . [She is] one of the most erudite public intellectuals in America.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Highlights Ms. Paglia’s impressive range and famously eclectic tastes. . . . [She is] a critic determined to teach the redemptive possibilities of patient, informed observation.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Riveting. . . . Revelatory. . . . Subtle, penetrating and sometimes funny.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“[Paglia is] an art-for-art’s-sake worshiper of art and literature whose close readings, influenced by Walter Pater and Sigmund Freud, are pyrotechnic and passionate.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Dazzling. . . . Compulsively readable. . . . Paglia at her best. . . . The lean precision of the book is a marvel. . . . Her choices range from the classic and expected to the obscure and the startling. . . . Even her explorations of the more familiar works will have you marveling anew.” —Salon
“Paglia [is] an intellectual sensation. . . . Here we find Paglia’s bewitching eye, matched with her gift for language, at its best.” —City Journal
“Artists, questing outsiders, are still with us, still finding their way, making their way. Perhaps some of them will be inspired by the glittering images Camille Paglia offers here.” —Los Angeles Times
“An essential work by an essential public intellectual.” —Vice
“Paglia is a lively, bracingly outspoken writer able to draw on her knowledge of both fine arts and popular culture.” —National Post
“A fascinating, uncommonly accessible look at the history of images in Western art. . . . [Paglia is] an incisive cultural critic, a dedicated teacher and a nimble-minded writer.” —Cincinnati City Beat
“An intelligently detailed examination of 29 works of art, ranging from a tomb painting of Egyptian Queen Nefertari to George Lucas’ film Revenge of the Sith. . . . Paglia is a wonderful popularizer of art history and art appreciation.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Succinct, lively, and illuminating. . . . Paglia’s bold and rigorous, handsomely illustrated and welcoming art iconography will accomplish her mission to provoke, enlighten, and inspire..” —Booklist (starred)
“A valuable cultural critique and an elucidating history. . . . [A] highly reflective and imaginative history of images in Western art. . . . Paglia writes with energetic lucidity, and her entries on the Laocoön and Donatello’s Mary Magdalene are standouts in this absorbing volume.” —Publishers Weekly
“The ever-provocative Paglia returns. . . . She proclaims that the avant-garde is dead and that George Lucas is our greatest living artist. This will get the smart folks talking.” —Library Journal