Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary

Hardcover | August 15, 2011

byGeorgina Colby

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One of the few available books of criticism on the topic, Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary provides an extended analysis of Ellis’s works to argue that his fiction, through the technique of underwriting, offers a new politics of literature. Dealing with his entire body of work to date, from Less Than Zero to Imperial Bedrooms, the study provides original readings of the writer’s equivocal engagement with American culture. Reading Ellis’s novels in relation to contemporary political, philosophical and aesthetic concerns, Colby recasts him as a social critic and a subversive literary figure who enables us to think differently about the cultural climates of the 1980s, 1990s, and the first decade of the twenty-first century.

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One of the few available books of criticism on the topic, Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary provides an extended analysis of Ellis’s works to argue that his fiction, through the technique of underwriting, offers a new politics of literature. Dealing with his entire body of work to date, from Less Than Zero to Imperial Be...

Georgina Colby is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of Westminster, UK.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.59 × 5.69 × 0.72 inPublished:August 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230116981

ISBN - 13:9780230116986

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Table of Contents

Underwriting the Contemporary * Missing Persons: Melancholy As Symptom in Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and The Informers * An Inner Critique: Commodity Fetishism, Systemic Violence, and the Abstract Mutilated Subject in American Psycho * Cloning the Nineties: Cultural Amnesia, Terrorism, and Contemporary Iconoclasm in Glamorama * Twenty-First Century Gothic (or Post-9/11 Fatalism): Self-Parody, Reification, and the Becoming Real of Cultural and Authorial Fictions in Lunar Park * The Politics of Exposure: Unsafe Lines and Narratives of Conflict in Imperial Bedrooms

Editorial Reviews

“Bret Easton Ellis: Underwriting the Contemporary is an accomplished and challenging book that, through a close reading of Ellis’s oeuvre to date, attempts to correlate political and literary value in order to extract a new politics of literature. It is a timely and serious work on a very important author whose reputation is overshadowed by the celebrity of his debut novel and the infamy of American Psycho.”--Scott Wilson, Professor in the School of Humanities, London Graduate School, Kingston University“Colby provides a path-breaking reading and re-situation of Bret Easton Ellis’s work, elegantly written and attentive to the rich paradoxes of his authorial persona and literary stance. With her elaboration of the ‘underwritten’ as double-voiced critique, she moves us away from the clichés of the ‘Blank Generation’ and gives us tools for an understanding of the slippery politics of contemporary fiction.  Ellis emerges as a better and more dangerous writer than we know.”--Tim Armstrong, Professor of Modern English and American Literature, Royal Holloway, University of London