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Anyone who wants to understand the United States of the present, must read his book

"Exactly as expected and a bit boring", say the writers Bret Easton Ellis, behind the Desk, and so bored sound, like his readers must have been for his success with the serial killer satire American Psycho to be expected. And while these words of criticism will apply to come flying out now for the publication on his new book. It might be like to grow up yet been described anywhere else so touching, what a cultural blessing it was, before the invention of helicopter parents. As well as young people could be exposed to in the cinema, the themes of violence or Sex, as as as adults later. As the "Playboy" out of the closet of the Daddy of erotic orientation. As a criticism of the nature of such desire is not yet as emanzipativ was understood, but as a petty and cruel.

skin color as privilege

This new book is called "White". And White, explains Ellis, White could a lot imply. Neutrality. Innocence. A Skin Color. And this skin color implies a lot as well. In America especially since. Exactly as expected and also a bit boring, the part of Los Angeles, where Ellis lives, and in the skin color clearly dominates there. On the way to the Interview in West Hollywood, it comes through a world that is so in the case of Bret Easton Ellis written-down type of way "L. A." that's a cliché of a sensitive Editor would have to persuade him to move. In front of the high house bar, where Ellis lives, and raises a construction site, the question of where in this city, physically working people to come here, when President Donald Trump really makes Ernst with the construction of the wall on the border to Mexico.

Ellis lives on the eleventh floor, his Boyfriend, the friendly Todd, opens the door. Ellis himself appears to be very casually dressed. Black Jogging suit, black T-Shirt and black Slippers, give the man the appearance of a two-metre high small child. It does not occur to him, certainly close to, if it determines that Bret Easton Ellis for years with great joy plays on the Detail of the Bret Easton Ellis, known as the narrative voice of his books. He makes it so, how you teach, in the writing schools: not only a say – show!

Ellis forgets not, under any circumstances, not to mention that they had just been at a Dinner or on the way to Dinner, as Todd this or that view, had expressed, he found Ellis, again, "millennial", so: weicheierig and naive. Restaurants are in the case of Bret Easton Ellis what are other authors, points and commas. If someone has decreed that importance to live also in the Details of the surfaces, then he was the.

Even the Obsession with the Smartphone is one of the "Millennials" Ellis at the book fair 2010 in Frankfurt. Photo: Keystone

Ellis’ work the room has a little Sobering. It is the flat gray-brown American passport dominating points of control. Everywhere the crossword puzzles from the "New York Times, are cut out". Posters and bookshelves contain only one thing: Bret Easton Ellis.

Ellis had originally flirted with the idea to call his new book, "White Privileged Male". This is actually the view of the world from which he was writing, and only could write. Even if Jean-Michel Basquiat, the African-American painter star of the eighties, the question I asked in the autumn of 1987 when you do Coke in the bathroom from the Odeon in New York, why so few Black appeared in his books. It would be different, would be the today also a Problem, since it namely with the accusations of "Cultural Appropriation" is reinforced, not to write about the things, the food from their own ethnic experience. "So I write strictly about what I know," says Ellis.

he did in "White" even more consistently than in any of the books before, because it is his first Time "Non-Fiction". It is not at all his first book for nearly ten years, and in the conversation he confirmed candidly, what remains when read as the impression: that he had another novel in itself, a real Memoir, also not and also not consistent by means of argument big essay. But an impressive mix of all of this.

this describes "White" in the first part of an aesthetic Coming-of-Age in suburban theaters of the San Fernando Valley, not brilliant, at a time when it appeared advisable, owing to the usual impositions in the life of notoriously violated, traumatized, and to give as a helpless victim of circumstances. Some harden had to be a Grown-up Ellis': the experience to have been in early 20's such a success, that everything that came after, "as a acts a series of Flops".

code of ethics instead of Aesthetics

For the Second White delivers "" over long distances, verse chriftlich of Podcasts, in which Ellis regularly with Hollywood, to justifications of the comments had caused on Twitter of excitement. Most of the time it boils down then to a passionate defense of the Aesthetic against the purely Ethical, to the Descriptive against the Normative: Kathryn Bigelow didn't get her Oscar more for her gender than for their work. The creators of "Moonlight" had been awarded by Hollywood and more for your Black as for the quality of your movie. The reactions to this statement are now essential to the subject of Ellis' Suada: "All must be equal, all must show the same reactions to certain works of art, movements, ideas, and if one refuses, in the enthusiasm of the choir to join, you are branded as a racist or a misogynist. It happens to a culture when your art means nothing."

That his reading tour in the USA was sold out, as Ellis says, shows at least that these issues are rumbling in the belly of the American cultural establishment, where behind closed doors the fear of Jacobin excesses in the fields of "Social Justice" and "Political Correctness" to be heard. But behind closed doors – from the famous worry that the applause from the wrong side, where the art is in doubt, the right to resentment but everything.

a critique of the critique

The book is a criticism of criticism of criticism, which is exactly the criticism that is criticized in the book: a literary perpetual motion machine. Ellis's novels could be, to To the-book-Bite boring with your endless Dinners, parties, Amor dualities. Nevertheless, she had to have read, who wanted to know what were the Eighties. As will now "need to Know" to read, who wants to know how the present looks in America. Because Ellis' whole aversion to "wishful thinking" and "sentimental Narrative" "White," but then again almost to the novel. It may be that the book in truth from a dinosaur is in a world, take in the small, uncomfortable touching comets?

"Yeah," said Ellis, "But I've always felt, even as this old man." Now Ellis lives today, with a much younger man, playing for a long time in texts by and about him, a role that corresponds to a mixture of Sidekick, Sancho Panza, and a punching bag: Todd is a "Millennial" and completely in line with the Zeitgeist of the left-liberal sensibility. Ellis, in turn, Born in 1964, is one of the classic "Generation X", the New York Times on paper, cut out the crossword and considers that there are many realities, the minds of Todd, but only the applied reactions.

In the living room plays Todd, the Millennial, a video game. The wall-sized screen displays pixel strong a massive Explosion, as it is time to say goodbye. The Latin American gatekeeper nods wordlessly, but not unfriendly.

Bret Easton Ellis: White. From the English by Ingo Herzke. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne, 2019. 320 p., 30 Fr.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 02.05.2019, 19:50 PM

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