Sunday, October 07, 2007

weekend musings

Bret Easton Ellis

Am reading Brett Easton Ellis's breakthrough novel LESS THAN ZERO, which I believe he wrote when he was eighteen years old at Bennington College. It's twenty years old now and no one in the book has a cell phone so no one is texting or faxing or checking email. But otherwise....are you ready....

It's pretty much just like chick lit.

Yes, that's what I said.

Why do we read it? I think for what I would call the shock value. That's right. For someone to say what everyone knows, but no one dares say. We love that, don't we? In an Ellis book, diners gaze out a restaurant window at someone across the street having a heart attack, and order another drink. The chick lit girl won't sleep with the guy, even though he's extremely nice, etc., because he has bad breath. You wait for the next shocking scene and turn of phrase. The next cool fashionable slangy way to say something. In LTZ, they are constantly using drugs but also wearing and adjusting sunglasses. It's so fkg cool. It's all materialistic. We adore it and want it.

Except with Ellis, and with male authors in general, there's a perception of depth. There's depth there, we feel. It means more than what it says. Like reading Hemingway, really.

Read a Hemingway story. It's bare bones. This happened and then that happened.

That undercurrent of darkness. What does it mean? It must mean something and I just don't know what it is. Others do but I don't.

That's the secret.

Don't get me wrong. I adore Ellis. There's no insult worse than chick lit, is there? (this pisses me off) I loathe and despise violence and yet was mesmerized by AMERICAN PSYCHO. It has to be the most violent novel ever written, I'm pretty sure. And the truly scary thing about it is that NO ONE EVER TURNS HIM IN AND SOME COULD HAVE.

Oh god, degeneracy. We so love it in America.

Also don't get me wrong about chick lit. It's not violent or shocking, of course, but we still read it to see what unexpected thing the girl is going to say. Someday someone will realize that these women are saying the things that are true. They're just saying it funny.

As always, I don't really know what I'm talking about.

Enjoy this luscious weekend, dear reader.
A bientot


At 11:40 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I feel bad when someone makes what sounds like a controversial statement about a subject I know nothing about so I can neither appreciate it or debate it. Alas, a lost chance to argue!


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