Hardcore Bowie fans will get a lot of mileage out of this massive hardcover exhibition catalogue of the exhibit currently on display at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. Fashionistas too may rejoice in the startling breadth of Bowie's concert costumes. Of interest to any and all students of late twentieth century culture will be the excellent essays that are interspersed throughout the luxurious display Bowiana, most notably that by Camille Paglia. In Ms. Paglia Bowie has found an intellect that is not only equal to the task of unpacking the multilevelled – and multi-valent – complexities of his work, but also possessed of the requisite cultural sophistication to assign each to it's proper place and context in the history of art and culture, and correctly connect him to his influences, precursors and acolytes. The NY Times offers a brief video tour / interview with the exhibition's co-curator Victoria Broackes that can be accessed from this review of the exhibit.
Whether you love her or hate her, agree with or disagree with her opinions and positions, it would be difficult to deny that Camille Paglia is a writer of substance and wit who relishes challenging received opinion and the staus quo. Free Women Free Men collects a wide range of material, primarilly from the 1990s, that originally appeared in widely disparate sources, ranging from Time, Newsday, Playboy and USAToday to The Times Literary Supplement and The Chronicle of HIgher Education to lectures delivered at colleges and elsewhere in the US and teh UK.