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Norman Mailer

From the White Negro to ICP: The Rise and Fall of the Psychopath as Heroic Cultural Rebel

This semester I’ve been leading an Honors College Reading Group on George Cotkin’s Feast of Excess.  As many readers of this blog know, Cotkin’s book charts the rise of what both Tom Wolfe and Susan Sontag called “The New Sensibility,” a broad, cultural tendency toward excess – in both minimalist and maximalist forms – that Cotkin argues emerged in the 1950s, blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s, and remains strong today. Our Honors College reading groups usually tackle one book a semester, read slowly, most often thirty-five to fifty pages a week. Feast of Excess fits this pace perfectly, as Read more