Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary (American by G. Colby

By G. Colby

One of many few on hand books of feedback at the subject, Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the modern presents a longer research of Ellis’s works to argue that his fiction, during the means of underwriting, bargains a brand new politics of literature. facing his whole physique of labor up to now, from below 0 to Imperial Bedrooms, the examine presents unique readings of the writer’s equivocal engagement with American tradition. examining Ellis’s novels on the subject of modern political, philosophical and aesthetic matters, Colby recasts him as a social critic and a subversive literary determine who permits us to imagine in a different way concerning the cultural climates of the Eighties, Nineties, and the 1st decade of the twenty-first century.

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Additional info for Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary (American Literature Readings in the 21st Century)

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Through missing Ellis’s political and ethical critique, the media criticism surrounding the novel itself enacted the violence inherent to the prevailing liberal attitude of Ellis’s critics, which focused on the subjective violence in the novel while ignoring, and thus sustaining, the systemic violence that lies beneath the surface culture. The third chapter moves into the 1990s and reads Glamorama as a complex exposition of what is conceived as the “image fetishism” of the period. Reading Victor through Roger Luckhurst’s trauma theory, the chapter articulates Victor as the amnesiac gapped subject of the spectacle of 1990s image society.

Rather than a stream of creativity, then, Anne’s writing technique discloses a desire simply to empty her mind, to rid herself of her thoughts. She recognizes this in her penultimate letter to Sean: “I seem to be incapable of writing a newsy letter. Descriptions bore me, I guess, and the best I can do are these scribbles, which may not make much sense to you” (I, 149). Anne’s communicative impotence can be read as a melancholic turn, which is directly related to her absorption into the culture of Los Angeles in which any critical reflection or self-reflection by the subject recedes.

Blazer is exemplary of this productive psychoanalytic branch of criticism. ”82 For Blazer, the terrorism in the novel is part of Victor’s delusion. Diagnosing Victor with narcissistic personality disorder, he discusses the novel through Julia Kristeva’s notion of abjection, reading the real grotesque tortures in the novel as externalizing Victor’s inner death. Berthold Schoene’s brilliant essay ‘Serial Masculinity: Psychopathology and Oedipal Violence in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho’83 argues for a psychoanalytic queer reading of American Psycho.

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