Paglia on Madonna  

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"Madonna is a dancer. She thinks and expresses herself through dance, which exists in the eternal Dionysian realm of music. […]. Madonna consolidates and fuses several traditions of pop music, but the major one she typifies is disco […] I view disco, at its serious best, as a dark, grand Dionysian music with roots in African earth-cult." —- Camille Paglia, ‘Madonna II: Venus of the Radio Waves’, in Sex, Art, and American Culture

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Camille Paglia's controversial piece on Madonna, which was originally published in the New York Times in 1990, would be the first of several articles, reviews and other commentary about her for years to come. When Madonna was asked about her by a French interviewer in November 1992 she said "I’m flattered that she thinks of me as a feminist role model, and there are a lot of things that I agree with in her politics and stuff... that being a sexual being does not cancel out being a feminist. I agree with that. On the other hand, I think that sometimes she takes it all too seriously and I’m amused by some of the things that she says. But I’m really glad that she’s a fan of mine, and I think she’s an important person in culture." But when Esquire magazine (in 1994), Penthouse magazine, and the HBO cable network, tried to arrange for Paglia to interview her, Madonna refused. In 1998, she told Brazilian interviewer Marília Gabriela that "I think she was upset because I wouldn't do an interview with her... Unhappy people are nasty people."

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