Novelist Bret Easton Ellis Speaks

The author of American Psycho blasts the New York literary scene…from the New York Daily News:

Among the many gems large and small to be found in the 200th issue of the Paris Review, one that stands out is an interview with novelist Bret Easton Ellis conducted by “Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt” author Jon-Jon Goulian. (Photo: Ian Gittler)

In that interview, Ellis speaks openly about his complicated relationship with the New York publishing establishment, which made him a star of the book world with 1985’s “Less Than Zero,” published when Ellis was barely old enough to legally buy a beer.

Read some choice excerpts at the link.



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A New, Noisier Way of Writing

From The New York Times:

Like many writers, Jonathan Franzen is a serious believer in isolation. He has declared it “doubtful that anyone with an Internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.” He has claimed to write behind soundproof walls and double-pane windows, lights off, blindfolded, earplugged and earmuffed.

This idea of the island writer — secluded, in but not of the world, aloofly authoritative — is old and enduring. And that endurance is remarkable, for in general these are dire times for remote priesthoods claiming special access to the Truth.

In field after field, the information authorities face disruption, with new equations of power replacing the old. Newspapers are learning to let readers talk back. Now that enthusiasts have made a reference work out of Wikipedia, encyclopedias are allowing their audience to write them. Companies are discovering that they must “engage” with their customers, not just advertise at them.

What do these new equations of influence — the shift from “power over” to “power with” others, as some describe it — mean for the writer? For in this and other ways, modern life challenges the picture of the writer-as-island.

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