Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Ellroy

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 20 Apr 2001


<<The posts about Ellroy's self-proclaimed genius and dismissal of Chandler seem to miss the point.>>

Let's see: Twain never proclaimed himself a genius; neither did originals like Faulkner, Hemingway, Gaddis, De Lillo, etc. etc. The Ellroy thing is a bit rich, don't you think? Also ridiculous, even in a society of the spectacle like ours.

<<He says these things to get people to talk about him.>>

That I believe.

<<And guess what? To sell books in large quantities these days one has to do some sort of shuck and jive.>>

I don't blame any author who wants to sell lots of books. You write to sell. It's the self-applied word "genius" and the dismissal of other authors that overstep the boundaries of decorum. For example, he accused Walter Mosley of copying him. Well, right now I would not say that Ellroy is a better writer than Mosley. In fact, I believe the opposite is true.

<<James has few peers when it comes to self-promotion. But it would be a mistake to judge the product by the pitch.>>

Of course. A magnificent book like _The Big Nowhere_ would be enough proof of his talent. When I think of Ellroy, I can't help thinking of what happened to John Dos Passos, who is a sort of literary ancestor.




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