Aeon Flux and Camille Paglia : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread

I've been reading a lot of Camille Paglia lately, I find her really interesting and refreshing in this era we live in. In fact, this may sound silly, but she's completely reinvented the way I look at certain aspects of my life. But also, while reading her stuff I was often reminded of Aeon Flux, and it made me wonder if her writings have had any influence on the show. I don't have any of the books with me now, so I can't quote her just yet, but let me try and analyze bits of the series according to her view:

Paglia believes that all of civilization is a male response to mysterious, murky female power, a solid invention in the face of female chaos and liquidity. In Paglia's universe, woman has the ultimate power, and man is just trying to cope with that fact. This seems very much like Trevor in the face of Aeon, and Bregna in opposition to Monica. Trevor often seems to be escaping into his own little experimental worlds just to get away from Aeon (who, of course, never ceases to muddle herself into the picture). Paglia would probably say that, like many male homosexuals since the 1970s, Trevor is trying to build a world without women, trying to build his own, man-made nature in subconscious opposition to Aeon's power over him (see the Habitat). Trevor is giving birth to a baby in the only way he can, through technology. Also very Paglian, so to speak, is Trevor's love nest in "Utopia or Deuteranopia". Note that he uses a man's body to construct it in, yet in the end he has to get to it by way of the soft, squishy insides -- nature is unavoidable. Paglia also describes western civilization, a male construct, as a cult of vision: the projected line, the motion picture projection, the skyscraper, etc. Bregna is a nation of vision: the eyeball imagery, the constant surveillance. Trevor often speaks of vision.

That was just off the top of my head for now... I had a realization of all this in bed one night and I'm struggling to remember it all. I'd love to give it a full treatment sometime. For now, though, what do you think? Is this just a happy coincidence between Paglia and the show's creators? I wonder if Camille has seen the show and what she'd think of it.

-- Mat Rebholz (, May 28, 2003


It's very interesting you've noticed this too.

Right now, I am currently working on an essay that links Paglia's idea of 'personae' with the episode 'A Last Time For Everything'. I too noticed the eyeball imagery & I think Aeon's status as a spy can be linked to Paglia's discussion of voyeurism and Apollonian vision.

Basically, I'm looking at how Aeon and Trevor are both 'personae'. That is, they both represent where the Male & Female (Apollonian & Dionysian) intersect. I take this up by looking at Aeon's aggressive & masculine traits and her insistence on her free will and individuality. Also, Paglia's assessment of Apollo as a Tyrant and Dionysus as a Vandal describe Trevor and Aeon perfectly.

Both Aeon and Trevor make that Apollonian 'swerve from nature', but in 'A Last Time For Everything', their individuality and separateness comes into jeopardy. They have to sacrifice their own autonomy to be with each other.

I'm also looking at desire and how these two are attracted to each other but can't make that final leap and 'become one'. So there we can see the competing needs of Apollonian individuality and Dionysian mutuality.

I was really surprised to see that at the same time, other people have drawn a relation between Aeon Flux and Paglia.

-- Adam (, May 31, 2003.

I'm glad someone else saw this too. For me, it was a great and rare intersection of two of my major interests.

-- Mat Rebholz (, June 05, 2003.

I think you guys are onto something. Not sure how I missed it.

-- Dr. Razzmatazz (, June 18, 2003.

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