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Feast of ExcessA Cultural History of the New Sensibility$
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George Cotkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190218478

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190218478.001.0001

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Vegas, Baby!

Vegas, Baby!

Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Hunter S. Thompson


(p.283) { 20 } Vegas, Baby!
Feast of Excess

George Cotkin

Oxford University Press

The New Sensibility seemed to have its apotheosis in Las Vegas, a city predicated upon excess and liberation from traditional bounds. Not only did Tom Wolfe write about the city in these terms, but architects Venturi and Scott Brown looked at the landscape and found it fascinating. In Learning from Las Vegas, a book that some designate as opening the era of the postmodern, they analyzed the surfaces and signs of Vegas, exulting in its eclecticism. Hunter S. Thompson, in his bestselling book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, had a less pleasurable encounter with the city, inhabiting its excess and interpreting the city as exemplary of the death of the American dream. But in his fevered prose, excessive in its drug-induced paranoia, he created a work that fits firmly within the New Sensibility.

Keywords:   Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown, Hunter S. Thompson, Las Vegas, Tom Wolfe, Learning from Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, postmodernism

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