Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Less Than Zero

"He writes it in eight weeks while, according to him in a 1991 Rolling Stone article, on a crystal meth binge," states Ben Graves about Bret Easton Ellis and the writing process for Less Than Zero and while I wasn't actually able to find the actual 1991 article online if this statement is true it provides a fascinating insight into the novel, and how much of an important part drug use was to the 'Blank Generation,' since crystal meth isn't a casual drug like marijuana, its a very hard drug, they were slipping further and further into drug abuse. However Bret Easton Ellis is notoriously unreliable, and enjoys playing persona's, having previously identified himself as heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual sporadically, this could just be yet another persona. If Ellis was indeed on a crystal meth binge at the time could explain the writing style of the novel, which Graves describes as "flat, and in a way distant from what is happening," because like Clay, Ellis through his drug use was detached from the real world. 

Graves defines the novel as an immorality tale, "passively displaying the plain indifference of the world," without providing any form of judgement, whether this comes as condemnation or justification, on the actions of the characters. But this indifference does speak to the apathy associated with the 'Blank Generation,' those who'd become lost to the world, sucked into a spiral of drugs, sex and disinterest, for example while Clay does nothing to help Julian out, he doesn't really accept what is happening to his friend either.   

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