CARNEGIE CENTER NAMES BOOK FOR
4TH ANNUAL CARNEGIE CLASSICS EVENT:
“FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS,” BY HUNTER S. THOMPSON
LEXINGTON, Ky. – On Saturday, November 7, at 7PM Lexington literary fans – and Hunter S. Thompson enthusiasts – are invited to step into the pages of Thompson’s groundbreaking cult classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.
The event is the fourth annual installment in the Carnegie Classics series. It will feature a visual art exhibit, a Vegas-style buffet, open bar, live music performances and other artistic surprises – all themed around the 1971 cult classic by Thompson, who was a Kentucky native and creator of so-called Gonzo journalism. The Carnegie Center’s historic downtown building will be transformed into a 1970s-era Las Vegas hotel.
The Carnegie Classics series was conceived in 2011 by the staff of the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning, a Lexington-based non-profit dedicated to imaginative learning and literary arts. The events are designed to celebrate a classic piece of literature with costumes, decor, art and performance, all inspired by that year’s literary choice. The three previous Carnegie Classics were themed around the novels To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, and Catcher in the Rye.
While many people associate Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the film version starred Kentuckian Johnny Depp) with flagrant drug use, Carnegie organizers want the event to call attention to the book’s deeper meaning and Thompson’s unwaveringly original voice.
“A thorough reading of Fear and Loathing reveals something more than a Cadillac full of hallucinogens,” said Carnegie Center Executive Director Neil Chethik. “It’s the first book in which a member of the 1960s counterculture looks squarely at the movement’s results – and declares it a failure.” It was also the first book-length example of Gonzo journalism, a first-person, unapologetically subjective form of nonfiction writing, Chethik added.
The Carnegie Center’s art exhibit “Fear and Loathing: Art Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson,” will feature commissioned works by Lexington artists Clint Colburn, Erica Lynne Cook, Erin Eldred, Pat Gerhard, Levon Kadamyan, Ellen Molle, Lennon Michalski, Michael Turner and Wayne Turner. It will officially open at the Carnegie Center’s gallery on Nov. 7, the night of the event, and will remain on display through Dec. 18. Each artist will contribute a Fear-and-Loathing-themed art piece in a medium of their choice, from painting and sculpture to chalk art and photography.
Other highlights of the evening include psychedelic rock performed live by the Lexington band The Other Brothers; showgirls-style performances by local drag queens Mya St. James, Cadillac Seville and Jenna Jive of the Bar Complex; a Vegas-style buffet and free libations; and decor inspired by the novel.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, available now at carnegiecenterlex.org, or by calling 859-254-4175, ext. 21. Food and beverages are included with the admission price.