Library of Cultural References

  • Library: Cultural References in Books

Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems

by Camille Paglia [edition - 2005]
ASIN: 0375420843

Many JMDLers wrote to tell us about the inclusion of one of Joni's songs in Camille Paglia's latest book. Here's part of a review from

Paglia concludes with the words to Joni Mitchell's Woodstock, a wonderful song about which she says baffling things: "This is an important modern poem -- possibly the most popular and influential poem composed in English since Sylvia Plath's Daddy. " The clich├ęd overstatement seems harmless, but the casual dismissal of all contemporary page-based poetry is not. Nor is the cavalier attitude toward music history: Is Woodstock more influential than Like a Rolling Stone or Anarchy in the U.K. or Rapper's Delight? After 200 pages of handy exegeses, it's a shame that Paglia ends her book with what looks less like literary (or cultural) criticism than a bid for attention or an expression of Baby Boomer myopia.


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