A Little Wrong

From Under The Glacier by Halldór Laxness:

laxness2It’s strange that all birds don’t fly in the same way. After all, the air’s just the same at the same place and the same time. I’ve heard that the wings of aeroplanes all conform to the same formula, whereas birds each conform to a formula of their own. It has undeniably required more than a little ingenuity to equip so many birds each with their own formula, and no expense spared, either. Nevertheless, there has perhaps never been a bird that flies as correctly as an aeroplane; yet all birds fly better than aeroplanes if they can fly at all. All birds are perhaps a little wrong, because an absolute once-and-for-all formula for a bird has never been found, just as all novels are bad because the correct formula for a novel has never been found.

Do you like Huey Lewis and The News?

AmericanPsychoI apologize in advance if the tone of today’s post is a little petulant. There was some kind of terrible bedside misunderstanding between the two cats this morning—cat #1 made a small noise; cat #2 COULD NOT BELIEVE THE SMALL NOISE—and cat #2 decided to release the tension by spinning in daft circles on my face. This seemed to work well as a method of stress relief for cat #2, bless, but my right eyelid is now the right eyelid of someone who has been wearing their crown of thorns at a very jaunty angle. Jerks.

Onwards! Bret Easton Ellis reveals he is ready to start writing fiction again:

The idea to begin a new novel started sometime in January while I was stuck in traffic on the 1-10 merging into Hollywood after I’d spent a week in Palm Springs with the 26-year-old and a friend I’d gone to college with who was now losing her mind.

For the TLDRers, a summary of his post: Deepak Chopra retreat; CW network; phone calls from the production company. Yep, Bret Easton Ellis has been too busy being Californian to write another novel. But after coughing up the script for The Canyons onto the back of an American Apparel receipt, our lad is finally ready for a new challenge…

I jest because I love. Or at least, I quite like. I thought American Psycho was weird and funny and awful and intense and something that will stay with us (“sadly, an American classic,” as some bloke says). It took the vanity and vapidity and excess of the ’80s to its grotesquely logical conclusion. And I had to show I.D. to buy it from the Chartwell Whitcoulls, which was the most exciting moment of my young adult life.

But much of what Ellis has written since then has been more of the same—same day, different drug, now with vampires! I’d imagined him as some shabby, friendless weirdo who had locked himself away in a Vogue-lined chamber in order to write a grand, sweeping indictment of yuppie culture. But not so! In 2010 Ellis told an interviewer:

Patrick Bateman did not come out of me sitting down and wanting to write a grand, sweeping indictment of yuppie culture. [That’s me told.] It initiated because of my own isolation and alienation at a point in my life. I was living like Patrick Bateman. I was slipping into a consumerist kind of void.

For the love of god, man, pull yourself out! You’re that guy who gets excited about hanging out with models while also making fun of and despising the fact that you’re that guy who gets excited about hanging out with models? Fine. So you’re a meta-douchebag. That’s okay: you can tell us modern life is rubbish while standing knee-deep in muck. But you only needed to tell us once; the ickiness of it all has been well and truly grasped, and I don’t think I can drum up much enthusiasm for another round of aren’t-we-terrible-and-pass-the-martinis…

But what do I know? Ellis might be intending to go in a totally different direction. Maybe he’s had a revelation: if this scene is so awful, why am I still here? Maybe he’s going to move to Minnesota and plant zucchini and write a tender memoir about how the smell of damp soil reminds him of his grandmother. Which would be worse? American Psycho Part 6: The SoulCycle Cycle? Or A Vegetable Saved My Life: How I Finally Learned to Stop Giving A Shit About What Goes On At The Chateau Marmont?