Bret Easton Ellis

Started by children with angels, June 17, 2003, 08:59:29 AM

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Quote from: Drenk on July 08, 2019, 07:48:02 PM
I finished White, which I thought was a great and engaging read, and decided to read reviews to see how they treated the arguments made in the book—how naive of me...The review from The Guardian is especially shameful. It contains errors, it has random quotes without the context, in order to make it sound ridiculous.

But I also found an article about these non-reviews. It's quite interesting. I like what it says about reviewers using a Twitter voice to dismiss what they're reviewing. It seems insane to me that you can write a review in The Guardian without doing the work; because, look, a real negative review of White would be fascinating. The fact that Ellis says, himself, that he doesn't care about politics is helpful, he analyzes the reactions of an elite—the one he's living with, the one he's a part of—and that's fascinating—but the actual effects of politics on the world don't register to him, it's all virtual. And yet, what he describes is political, too. He's in the bubble and outside of the bubble—so he can see things, or be a witness for us, while having his blindspots. Anyway, I'm annoyed that it did not spark discussions; instead, it was just mocked. Ellis has a Twitter voice that I find distateful, but his essay voice is not his Twitter voice; other writers should be aware of that distinction in their work...

Here is the article about the reviews:

tl;dr What I mean is that what made the reading exciting was as much the part I strongly agreed with than the parts I disagreed—it was serious and funny, but not annoying even if I rolled my eyes twice.

Totally agree, am just finishing it up myself. The bulk of the negative reviews completely mischaracterize the nature of the book, which is more concerned with film theory than anything else, save for a few sections addressing the cultural fallout resulting from the 2016 campaigns and election. I skimmed through much of what rang familiar, as indeed large chunks are lifted from various monologues from the podcast, if re-fitted somewhat to make for a more palatable reading experience. And while I find myself disagreeing with him here and there, he's never less than engaging. The outrage this was greeted with was silly and unfounded, and makes me question whether or not any of these so-called critics actually read the damn thing...

And Drenk, thanks for linking that article, I quite appreciated it.


Quote from: the podcastBret Easton Ellis: Your process in terms of creating a character that you've just read...I mean, you often work with people who allow you a kind of creative freedom to reimagine that character that's just there in stage direction and dialogue...

Jonathan Tucker: I don't think it's 'reimagining', though. I really think you have to try to understand the subconsciousness of the writer. That's where I think I start in terms of where the character's gonna come from. And a lot of that is...of course it's detective work, but if you think about how you dream: you're the only person in the dream, the dream comes from the subconscious. Everybody in the dream is a reflection of you, so you need to look at a script that way - that everybody's fears or impetuses or concerns are also somewhat of a reflection of your character's. So the entirety of the script is the subconscious of the writer, and it's my job to try to interpret that subconsciousness.


The episode openz with BEE describing the 10-episode, multi-POV Manson Murders series he developed in partnership with Rob Zombie. It spans the Beach Boys, Spahn,  Linda Kasabian and Manson's meeting at Universal to pitch a doc on his own cult, all the way up to after the trial.

"Spahn Ranch meets the Polo Lounge" sez BEE 


Tarantino should do a movie about writers who live by writing unproduced scripts. In parallel with Fincher buying a house with the money he got from "developing" World War Z II.


From the podcast:

QuoteLee Smith: I spent a lot of my childhood [in NY in the 70s], starting at the age of 12, my adolescence, on the subways. I started hanging out with graffiti writers. I was writing graffiti. That really hit New York in the mid-70s. And you can look back at some of the different photo books of the period and looking back on it most of it was just horrific and horrible and depressing, but there were also different things...I've written about it once or twice, but for me it was the first artistic experience I ever had, by which I mean, it didn't need to be explained to me.


Lee Smith: When you talk about 70s movies --I remember very vividly-- we went to go see The Conversation, which I just saw again recently, about two months ago -- which was just wonderful because there was was the atmosphere. There was all sorts of stuff that was over my head: the romantic intrigue, the things that are really at the heart of that movie - the betrayal, the cruelty of it. But there's also something about the atmosphere which is very appealing to a kid...they're spying on someone else...

BEE: Well you're locked into the fear of it.

Lee Smith: Right.

BEE: You get it, as a kid. You get it as a teenager. You get the 'fear' of it.

Lee Smith: That's the feeling. And there's something secret going on, and there are people who are watching...

BEE: One of the things that makes that movie kind of unsettling and scary is that it was one of the first movies where I realized that I wasn't watching the movie alone. And one of the reasons I loved movies so much as a child and as a teenager was that they offered an intense voyeuristic experience. They allowed you to watch secret things you're not supposed to be seeing. I think all movies are about secret narratives that you're not-supposed-to-be-seeing.

And one of the things about The Conversation is that, yes, you're seeing this, but people know more than you do. And there is something else going on, there's an even bigger secret going on. Other people are watching what you're watching and they're kind of controlling it in a way that you as the viewer, who usually feel pretty good about controlling the image because you're the voyeur, you're not trapped in the dynamics of the plot or the mayhem that's happening...that's what's so great about the 70s movies: they feel very unsafe. There's a larger element at play that's very....dangerous.

Lee Smith: That's very interesting, just looking back at what it's like as a kid or a teenager...because you have the danger, and you have the secret, but also there's something larger than you: 'this is what adulthood is like'. There's something serious about adulthood, and 'here's what you need to do to have access to that, to approach it correctly, to do these different things...'

BEE: And there were so many movies like that. And I think growing up in that atmosphere really was something that led you into the world of adults. I wanted to become an adult. I wanted to become entangled in the mysteries of the adult world.


An editor about Bruce Wagner's « problematic language »: « Not even a character should call itself fat. »

These people are clueless. All the fat women I follow on Twitter describe themselves as fat; they actually prefer that word to « obese » which implies a disgusting sickness. Fat is the most plain and descriptive word.

This is the insanity: ignorants guys trying to follow a vague trend of correctness. The expression in the culture has no relation with the actual discourse because the power is owned by morons. (And then BEE believes that fat people don't want Bruce Wagner to write freely, I guess.)

EDIT: God. That editor then refuses to describe a rape as rape in the novel. Ironic...


You should check out the novel, Drenk!


Reading on a screen is hard! But I'll check the novel more seriously, or at least read the first part.

Just finished listening to the sixth installment of The Shards (the working title for the new book) and realized that this is probably an experience: this is clearly a fiction but pretending the contrary involves the reader/listener in a more intense way. He's lying about old schoolmates contacting him. The internet is conveniently lacking on these particular murders. He couldn't help himself and wrote about tailing a potential psycho—great scene, by the way, but a scene nonetheless...

He remembers the content of a bookstore he visited in 1981? The posters in a record store? There are a lot of details that a fiction writer would put in part 6, and I'd rather be ready right now for a breach in the contract between the writer and his audience...

Or maybe the rich kids in private schools are truly living cinematic, fucked up lives?


Just to keep that tweet somewhere.

The serial killer thing is obviously fake in The Shards and it has certainly became the weaker aspect of the work in progress.

Until the killer strikes, I guess...


Can't wait to read it. I have trouble listening to fiction, my mind wanders, need to take it in through the eyeballs.


i have no idea what's being talked about and i just cross my fingers it remains that way




beautiful excerpt, thanks for adding + sharing that wilder ~

The Shards - on Penguin Random House

QuoteA sensational new novel from the best-selling author of Less Than Zero and Imperial Bedrooms that tracks a group of privileged Los Angeles high school friends as a serial killer strikes across the city.

Bret Easton Ellis's masterful new novel is a story about the end of innocence, and the perilous passage from adolescence into adulthood, set in a vibrantly fictionalized Los Angeles in 1981 as a serial killer begins targeting teenagers throughout the city.


Have never actually read any BEE.  An avid consumer of his podcast tho.