29 March 2007


an·o·mie or an·o·my (ăn'ə-mē)
noun. 1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values. 2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals.

[French, from Greek anomiā, lawlessness, from anomos, lawless : a-, without + nomos, law.]

"The generic anomie and surrealism lite that are in vogue among the Leipzigers is standard art-school fare. How many young artists don't feel that they're somehow out of sync with modern life and that they've spotted its melting clocks?"
~ Blake Gopnik, "New Leipzig School Provides a Study in Hype," The Washington Post, 3 October 2006

"In the Art Institute of Chicago hangs one of the most enduring portraits of American nightlife rendered in this century, an icon of urban anomie so widely recognized it has become a cliché for marketing spoofs. Yet hundreds of thousands of visitors who every year come to view the original of Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks' are struck by its power to rivet our attention on three customers who share a space but nothing else in the stark light of a 1940s diner."
~ "From Ancient Egypt to Andy Warhol, Chicago's Art Institute Amazes," Psychiatric News, 18 February 2000

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