Zeropolis: The Experience of Las Vegas

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1861891768 BRAND NEW. Still in plastic wrap. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied customers since 1997. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for ... much faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Las Vegas, an artificial city brought to life in the heart of the Mojave desert, is the ultimate urban temptation: its shopping malls, theme parks and casinos offer an unceasing parade of entertainments and diversions. Its architecture combines slick, commercial seduction with a childish, cartoon-like appearance; its streets and arcades are constantly animated with visitors and residents willingly submitting to the opium of this spectacular place.

Las Vegas has always fascinated those who write about the American malaise, from Tom Wolfe to J. G. Ballard, but Bégout reveals the city’s other side, adding a valuable philosophical dimension to the nightmarish, fantastic visions that haunt the imagination of novelists and film-makers. The author draws minutely detailed portraits in the form of city scenes – portraits that are often tragic and sometimes extremely comic. Bégout lets himself be dragged into this party, this "paradise for bastards", as Nick Tosches calls it.

For Bégout, Las Vegas is the consummation of the modern city, the ultimate destination of our urban experiments, the great supermarket of the global village. "Neither near nor far, neither here nor elsewhere, Las Vegas is distinguished by nothingness. For us it is zeropolis, the non-city that is the very first city, just as zero is the very first number."

"This is a real gem, as brilliant and remarkable as its subject"—Livres Hebdo

"Bégout felicitously combines the philosopher’s capacity for thinking with the novelist’s descriptive power. A success."—Le Nouvel Observateur

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861891761
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Series: Topographics
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Bégout is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Picardie, Amiens, France.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11
Zeropolis 17
Offerings to the Fun God 23
Graveyard of Signs 31
The Double-sided Face of Utopia 33
The Profusion of Resemblances 41
Behind the Scenes 47
Psychotropic Urbanity 51
Ghost Town 57
The Transfiguration of Banality 59
Fiat Lux 60
Mass Ornament 69
Translating the Theme 73
From the Sublime to the Grotesque 76
Opening and Closing 79
A.C. 81
Beyond Beauty and Ugliness 84
American Dream 87
Googie Style 93
The Conspiracy of Chance 95
Background Noise 99
Urban Monster or Future Normality? 102
Anything Goes 106
Leaving Las Vegas 111
Vegas Vicky 119
References 121
List of Photographs 125
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