I don't think the ideas in this book have influenced me very much, but reading it was, for whatever reason, the impetus to start writing about the economics of culture and also to give a broader focus to what I write. Alex, by the way, was the one who recommended it to me.
I burnt out on literary criticism during the late stages of my formal education. I was so frustrated with the pretentiousness and jargon that I actually stopped reading all criticism for many years—perhaps a dangerous move for a practicing critic. But Camille Paglia showed me that late-stage criticism could still be provocative, funny, engaged, and brutally honest. Here, too, I don’t agree with everything in this book, but that’s part of Paglia’s appeal. In a world of narrowing, self-referential discourses, she still has the capacity to ruffle feathers, and maybe even jab a blade into the delicate flesh beneath. I wish there were a hundred other academic practitioners of criticism who shared her audacity.