Camille Paglia's take on the current infatuation with Marie Antoinette: "After 9/11 — when great towers fell, like the Bastille, in a day — coping for the professional class has required cognitive dissonance. Life's routine goes on amid a surreal bombardment of bulletins about mutilations and massacres. When since the Reign of Terror has ritual decapitation become such a constant? The fury and cruelty of the French mob were strangely mixed with laughter — as when the severed head of Marie Antoinette's friend, the Princesse de Lamballe, was spruced up by a hairdresser and waved on a pike outside the royal family's window. These are the grisly surprises that now greet us every day through our own windows — the glass monitors of TV's and PC's. The return of Marie Antoinette suggests that there are political forces at work in the world that Western humanism does not fully understand and that it may not be able to control." (from "In Our Hall of Mirrors, a Queen Looms Large," The Chronicle)
A PBS documentary on the queen will air on September 25th. Sofia Coppola's film premieres on the 20th of October.