Friday, July 9, 2010
What does one say to Bret Easton Ellis?
This is the question I've been wrestling with lately. I've been losing sleep over it - literally, playing out scenarios in my head about my 30 seconds - 1 minute of interaction we'll be having when he signs my book when I attend his book launch in august. I first fell in love with this man's writing during uni and came across The Rules of Attraction; a horribly bleak, depressing read about hollow college students. I then moved onto the cult hit American Psycho, followed by The Informers and then an attempt at Less Than Zero. Needless to say I was a bit Ellis'd out by the time I got to Zero and never got around to finishing it.
To say I felt surprised when I heard he was launching his latest book Imperial Bedrooms at the Oxford Arts Factory in August is an understatement. I was downright shocked and had never felt luckier. Here was (I'm gonna put it out there) one of my favourite authors releasing a new book at my favourite watering hole. Is this some kind of hoax? Apparently not.
I immediately set to reading his debut work, the book I'd put down after an Ellis overload some six years ago now and as soon as I read the first page I remembered how I felt when I first discovered him. I love his darkness, his characters' nonchalance for their actions, hatred and disregard for humanity in general. It's utterly gutteral; they've got nothing to lose. This all sounds very nihilistic I know, and trust me usually I'm quite a gentle soul, but something in this snapshot of pop-culture that is oh-so-relevant still today speaks to me. I've just started reading Imperial Bedrooms and am gobbling it down by the page.
Anyway, this brings me back to my original dilemma - what does one say to Bret Easton Ellis? Should I make him a zine? What do I wear? What do I drink? If I'm this nervous in July, god help me when August hits.
Suggestions other than 'love your work' welcomed.