Camille Paglia on charisma

“Charisma is the numinous aura around a narcissistic personality. It flows outward from a simplicity or unity of being and a composure and controlled vitality. There is gracious accommodation, yet commanding impersonality. Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self love.”

A favourite of my husband and mine, Camille Paglia writes and speaks with a kind of crazed rationality. “What I represent is independent thought,” she declares. “And a lot of people don’t like it.” Camille burst from academic obscurity to front-page intellectual celebrity in 1990, with the publication of her book Sexual Personae, a 700-page study of the history of sexuality in Western art. Deeply provocative, she writes with such insight about art and poetry and culture but it is her two books Glittering Images and Break Blow Burn that are among our favourites. They are essentially incendiary guidebooks on how to read a poem or look at a painting. I can’t recommend them highly enough. We love Camille Paglia here at The Vampire’s Wife.

Also, check any of her interviews out on YouTube!

Love Susie x


The Vampire's Wife