The AV Club Interviews James Ellroy

Books, Literature, Writers

The AV Club interviews noir postmodernist James Ellroy about his forthcoming memoir, The Hilliker Curse. Here’s Ellroy, the cranky old man–

I very much enjoyed the process of interdicting the culture. I’m older; I have a great love of the English parlance. I can’t stand dipshit, tattooed, lacquered, varnished, depilatoried younger people talking their stupid shit, stage-sighing, saying “It’s like, I’m like, whatever,” and talking in horrible clichés, rolling their eyes when they disapprove of something. I saw that the culture was pandering more and more to this kid demographic. And in the course of driving from here to there, I began to see more and more billboards for vile misogynistic horror films, white-trash reality-TV shows, neck-biting fucked-up vampire flicks, and stoned-out teenage-boy pratfall comedies. Bad drama, bad comedy, that portrayed life preposterously, frivolously, and ironically, and that got to me. So I would drive here, there, and elsewhere through residential neighborhoods in order to avoid billboards. Since I wasn’t married and had no more in-law commitments, and was starting over again in a new locale, I developed strong friendships with male colleagues where we share the common goal of work and earning money, and I became fixated on women in my late 50s more than I’ve ever been fixated on women in my woman-fixated fucking life. My time in the dark felt productive rather than reductive, and the rest of the chronology, you know from the book. And I’m comfortable living in this manner, which people find hard to believe that I’m happy. It’s a gas. It’s a gas.

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