Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Feast of ExcessA Cultural History of the New Sensibility$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021



The Shock of the Old—and New

(p.333) Conclusion
Feast of Excess

George Cotkin

Oxford University Press

The New Sensibility did not end in the 1970s, with the downturn in the American economy. It had by then been incorporated fully into our culture. First, focusing on the continuing challenge of John Cage, Lou Reed’s work in a Cage mode, and the rise of punk, this chapter shows the vitality of the New Sensibility in the 1970s, and continues the examination through the 1980s to the present. Today, a culture of excess, with attention riveted on madness, violence, sexuality, confession, confusion of realms between high and low culture, and liberation, has become pervasive. The argument here is that the New Sensibility, when it is allowed freedom to breathe, and when it is cognizant of the essential tension between “liberation and limits,” to use a phrase offered by historian Roger Shattuck, can continue to resonate in the most valuable fashion. This type of success is demonstrated by Kara Walker’s monumental work of art A Subtlety.

Keywords:   John Cage, Lou Reed, punk, reality television, Kara Walker, Jeff Koons

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .