Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ellroy denounces Ellroy

Perhaps that armor of aggressive buffoonery is more easily penetrated than one thought:

American Tabloid was the novel we were here to discuss, but soon its sequel, The Cold Six Thousand, was mentioned – a novel that despite several attempts, I've never managed to penetrate beyond the first 50 pages. It's the gunfire short sentences that get me every time. I can sort of see the reason for such rat-a-tat-tat prose as "He ran a kitchen-help union. He rigged low pay. He had coin. He had pull." But it's just so relentless. And I suspected that Ellroy would have short shrift for those who found it too much to bear. Instead, he simply admitted that he had made a mistake, taken his style too far. It was both a surprising and fascinating admission.

The article goes on to discuss what you should do when a writer calls the middle book of a trilogy mistaken... (I read it with pleasure myself and look forward to "Blood's A Rover", which is volume three. You all owe it to yourselves to read at least "American Tabloid")


Generic said...

Getting wrapped up in the means and forgetting the purpose (in this case communication) seems to be a common modernist failing. Cf Panovsky (I think) on the beautiful-looking chair that isn't comfortable, the designer fork that can't be used to pick up food.

Gotta be careful, though. Some people would say that about chopsticks--- or insist that it's impossible to dance to Sun Ra.

Tulkinghorn said...

That caution is useful.

Nothing wrong with pushing through the shock of the new and seeing where you end up. You'd be surprised how many things there are to like if you actually don't care what others think about your opinion.

Generic said...

Couldn't agree more.