From: Robison Michael R CNIN (
Date: 22 Nov 2002 wrote: Kerry, as for your earlier contention that Ellroy explores the themes of the "chaotic" 20th century world, I disagree whole-heartedly with that. IMO, the only landscape Ellroy is exploring (mytho-poetic or otherwise) is the interior landscape of his own dark, twisted psyche (which is part of what makes his non-fiction work, "My Dark Places" such riveting stuff). If he's working out his issues and getting paid for it, great for him. But I find nothing epic about his obsession with corruption, and *over*-emphasis on the profane.
********** I see what you mean! The dirty, mean, corrupted streets of Los Angeles that Ellroy portrays are just some twisted personal fantasy of his, with no foundation in reality. In the real world cops are honest, racism doesn't exist, there's no poverty, and Ward, June, Wally, and Beaver wake up every morning to a wonderful new day of promise and prosperity. Yeah, right.

It's entirely possible that Ellroy has a "dark, twisted psyche," but that doesn't make the world he paints in the dark shades of noir any less significant.

And I'm clueless about your last statement. Epic simply means the darn book is over 500 pages, and corruption and an "*over*-emphasis on the profane" are standard characteristics of noir. If you don't like that sort of writing, I suggest you stay away from the works of William Lindsay Gresham, Cornell Woolrich, Jim Thompson, Horace McCoy, James Cain, and David Goodis.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Nov 2002 EST