Bret Easton Ellis at Melbournes Writers Festival

Bret doesnt get out much.  At least thats the impression you get listening to him tell you how he only does “these things” every five years or so.  Or that he has a close circle of friends in LA who hangs with and when he does go out he still remains fairly anonymous.  I had this image of him opening the front door to a knock, the front room of his apartment a catalogue of filth.  The floor littered with empty packets of Cheetos, pizza boxes, clothes, stubbed out cigarettes.  His agent would say, Its time.  Its been four years. And he would answer, I cant have been that long?  It’s four years he would reply. You need to go on the road again; plug the book.  Bret would back away, saying No, I need more time and next to the agent, outside, pressed against the wall would be a hairdresser, a dental hygenist, a dwarf manicurist and a tailor.

He is very funny.  I have most of the interview recorded and would like to upload if I could figure out how to convert m4a’s to m3’s.   Any idea’s let me know.

The question and answer session at the end was probably one of the high points as individuals from the audiance ask crazed question after crazed question.  If I had of asked one question it would have been something along the lines of how similair does he feel he is to the roll of Jeff Koons.  They’re both snappy dressers, for one.  No but seriously, I think they both mess with the idea of Trust.  Jeff asks us to believe that his work is honest, that when he makes 10 foot high metal balloon-dog he means nothing more than celebrating  a beautiful object. “A viewer might at first see irony in my work… but I see none at all. Irony causes too much critical contemplation” The question really is do you believe him?

Likewise with Ellis, he asks us, the reader to trust that the lifes that seem to close and at times one and the same (Lunar Park) is not actually his.  That its all game and that really he likes nothing more than a relaxing wine on the balcony.  And then he’ll say something to shatter it all and then build it all back up again.

Like one of the last questions which got a laugh from everyone there including myself until I went home and it started to seem contrived or if not then downright creepy.  A faceless woman in the balcony asked: “Do you ever wish someone had killed you at the peak of your career”.  And at the time it seemed like a fantastically crafty question, but afterwards when I contemplated the silence it drew from him, it seemed more like some rougue moment stolen from Imperial Bedrooms, a phantom text while he does coke and watch The Hills.

But stalking and paranoia aside, quite possibly I read too much into it.  In reply he said Yes, first of all and then when prompted about something in private from the interviewer, said “No.  No, of course not.”