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Q&A with Bret Easton Ellis - Page 5

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Q: I never thought I’d see Bret Easton Ellis (the real one or his fictional counter-part) in the sleepy suburbs, complete with McMansion and Golden Retriever. Is this lifestyle in the cards for you or are you really trying to drive home the point that this is fiction?

A: Well, I feel I grew up in the suburbs. That’s all Los Angeles is. And I’ve given suburban life a couple of tries (most notably in the mid-90’s when I spent a good deal of time in Richmond, Virginia), but for the most part the majority of my friends and family live on both coasts and so I divide my time between LA and NY—but not in a McMansion, and I don’t own a Golden Retriever.

Plus I never felt in Lunar Park that I was trying to drive home the point that what the reader was experiencing was fiction—quite the opposite, in fact.

Q: Bret is haunted, literally, by his fictional creations. Many people might think that writing is a way of exorcising one’s demons. Are you, in fact, saying that the opposite is true?

A: Exorcising one’s demons is a little dramatic, and I know I used the phrase a lot when I was defending American Psycho.

But if exorcising one’s demons means that you’re trying to make sense of your unconscious—that, in effect, you’re mapping out your dream life in your fiction and trying to understand, through writing, what is obsessing you and why, then certainly. I don’t think writing is not about that.

But, yeah, there are cases when you write something that has such a huge impact on your life (and the reaction to the publication of American Psycho was one such thing) that it causes more problems—it creates more demons; it messes you up—than you could have ever anticipated, and I think that idea is explored in Lunar Park.

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