Narcissism and the New American Landscape
188 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.60 in
- Published: May 1999
- Published: August 2016
Egotopia explains why individual political and economic interests have eclipsed aesthetic considerations in the rampant billboards, malls, and urban sprawl of the New American LandscapeEgotopia begins where other critiques of the American landscape end: identifying the physical ugliness that defines and homogenizes America's cities, suburbs, and countryside. Believing that prevailing assessments of the American landscape are inadequate and injudicious, John Miller calls into question the conventional wisdom of environmentalists, urban planners,and architects alike. In this precedent-shattering examination of what he sees as the ugliness that is the American consumer society, Miller contends that our aesthetic condition can be fully understood only by explorers of the metaphoric environment.
Metaphorically, the ugliness of America's great suburban sprawl is the physical manifestation of our increasing narcissism- our egotopia. The ubiquity of psychotherapy as a medium promoting self-indulgence has deified private man as it has demonized public man. The New American Landscape, Miller argues, is no longer the physical manifestation of public and communal values. Instead it has become a projection of private fantasies and narcissistic self-indulgence. Individual interests and private passions can no longer tolerate, nor even recognize, aesthetic concerns in such a landscape dedicated to uncompromising notions of utility.