Monday, March 24, 2008

Bret Easton Ellis: Major Writer or Footnote?

As I’ve confessed in the past, I have a secret fascination with the novel Less Than Zero, by Bret Easton Ellis. Here's an interesting interview with the writer that tries to give context to his style and subject matter (from the Los Angeles Times

“Part of what makes his work interesting -- but at times morally disorienting -- is his unwillingness to intrude on his narrative with an authorial voice. It also led to him being seen as a nihilist, which hurt more than it probably should have. ‘I hate anybody who reviews based on morality and not aesthetics,’ Ellis said over dinner. ‘That is a major crime.’

"'There's an almost passive-aggressive quality to it,’ Scott said of Ellis' style. ‘Like 'I'm not going to tell you'; it keeps the reader off-balance. You have to decide how much irony there is.’

"Ellis has called himself a moralist but pointed out to [Charlie] Rose that he's not going to walk into his novels and say, ‘OK, guys, reader: These people are shallow, immoral and aimless -- just wanted you to know that.’”

Note that Ellis will be coming out with a sequel to Less Than Zero. I assumed all those characters would for sure have been dead by their forties!

(Link via The Elegant Variation.)


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.