RE: RARA-AVIS: Thoughts on James Ellroy

Tyler, Tom (
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 10:34:44 -0400

        It's possible that Ellroy has said all he has to say. "My Dark Places" seems to me to be the final exhalation of the demon (the "redhead") which impelled him to write all his previous works, with the exception of
"American Tabloid."

        "Tabloid" felt like a significant change in direction wherein Ellroy was no longer drawing artistic energy from the exorcism of personal demons but attempting to reach outside personal history to exorcise the USA's demons by telling the true story of our contemporary political history. I suspect writing is now more of a struggle for a man who is older, successful, happily married in Kansas City and no longer tormented. He must find a new path, and it cannot be easy.

        Because it attempted to tell the truth and because Ellroy made a strong effort to change his subject matter, I loved "Tabloid," and hope Ellroy will not be blocked as he attempts to continue his Tabloid series. What's his choice, if he wants to continue being a serious artist? He must find something new, or else he's condemned to write the same story over and over in between college stints as the caricatured "demon dog" of american fiction. (Not that most writers don't write the same story over and over. See "Single & Single," le Carre's latest angst-ridden borefest about a bumstead of a father).

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Thu 16 Sep 1999 - 10:38:29 EDT