Staying Up Much Too Late: Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and the Dark Side of the American Psyche

Front Cover
Macmillan, Apr 1, 2007 - Art - 256 pages
0 Reviews

A fascinating study of Edward Hopper's iconic Nighthawks painting and its deep significance for understanding American culture.

Staying up Much Too Late discusses the painting Nighthawks and the painter Edward Hopper and their central importance to twentieth-century American culture. Topics include individualism, New York City, Arthur "Weegee" Fellig, diners, pornography, capitalism, advertising, cigarettes, American philosophy, World War II, Gravity's Rainbow, Blade Runner, Pulp Fiction, Russ Meyer, R. Crumb, David Lynch, and film noir

What links these together is the painting's pessimistic take on American culture, which it also seems to epitomize. Despite its desolate feel, Nighthawks has become a familiar icon, reproduced on posters and postcards, in movies and on television shows. But Nighthawks is more than just a masterful painting. It is a portal into that rarely acknowledged but pervasive dark side of the American psyche.


What people are saying - Write a review

STAYING UP MUCH TOO LATE: Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and the Dark Side of the American Psyche

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Musings on the famous "diner" painting and its place in American culture. Stick with the painting.Shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Edward Hopper began his most famous work, Nighthawks. The ... Read full review


Chapter 1 The Making of the Painting or How to Be a Stranger in Your Own Land
Chapter 2 One Man One Big Damned City
Chapter 3 The End of the World Came Sometime Yesterday
Chapter 4 When Freedom Means You Dont Know Who You Are
Hardcore Nighthawks
Wicked Women and WeakWilled Men
Chapter 7 Cheap Cigars and ExLax
Chapter 8 How to Expect Failure and Avoid Disappointment
Chapter 9 Desperate Schemes
Chapter 10 America Noir
Notes on Sources

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

GORDON THEISEN was born in Queens, New York. He has worked as a landscaper, dishwasher, barback, cashier, library clerk, construction worker, telemarketer, taxi driver, teacher, proofreader, and freelance writer. He holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with his wife, two-year-old son, and his wife's cat.

Bibliographic information