Michael Posner interviews Camille Paglia in yesterday’s Globe.
Consuming a force-fed diet of the French intellectual method of Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard, she adds, students emerge “passive to language, indifferent to fact, and arrogant towards culture.”
Academic dissidents have been silenced. “If you don’t embrace the consensus, your career stops in its tracks,” Paglia says. “I had a woman call me from the literature department at Harvard. She said no one can speak out because if you do, you don’t get the courses you want, the hours you want, you don’t get graduate assistants. It’s pathetic. It’s authoritarian, a regime of terror. Anyone opposed has either left the university or is totally underground.”
The result, she maintains, is two generations of lost talent — those who refused to surrender, and entrenched mediocrity among those who remained.
The only Canadian poem that made it into her ‘custodial’ book of poetry Break, Blow, Burn is Woodstock by Joni Mitchell. So here is Paglia, taking poetry back for the people. And if any of you poet-people have anything to say about it, I suggest you come at it fangs first and in rhyme. (Thanks cfg and J)