Bret Easton Ellis – White
White is in essence a compilation of eight essays based on two central themes responding to contemporary culture: The drawing of a demarcation line between generations and the way people conduct themselves in this day and age, i.e. devoid of integrity and authenticity.
Now, if you know Ellis from his previous literary emissions, you would be hard pressed to find it surprising that the way he goes about elaborating is informed by an outspoken, unapologetic and at times abrasive tone that channels his criticism of a popular culture the protagonists of which are according to his assessment, well, weak, overprotected and needy.
What makes White interesting for the Ellis aficionado is that is has autobiographical bits and pieces and references that pieced together give one a accurate idea of how he ticks and what his influences are.
One of this many gripes that repeatedly rise to the surface is what he perceives to be corporate fascism, i.e. art being tainted by underlying ideological messages, which is intriguing as one cannot help but sometimes think that Ellis’ own wealth is at least partly based on having arranged himself with the machine he prides himself on raging against.
He defines freedom as being able to express oneself without caring about the consequences, a position that he deliberately takes on when he muses about the signs of our times.
A hyperbolic, passionate and entertaining rant against everything corporate that certainly does not lack narcistic, at times petty and self-aggrandising nuances, and while some of his anecdotal meanderings seem to lack direction and significance, it reveals a lot about the man in terms of him thriving on being agitated and his need to express himself no matter if there is actually a point to it or not.
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