Deconstructing Bret Easton Ellis: A Derridean Reading of the Fiction
Riddled with intertextual references and notorious for their explicit portrayal of sex, drugs, and the occasional rock ’n’ roll, the novels of Bret Easton Ellis reveal many layers. The novels are often accused of not making sense—but they instead make many senses. Their semantic complexity is obvious when put under a theoretical lens as provided by Jacques Derrida. His semiotic analysis, which focuses on the instability of meaning and is shaped by key terms such as différance, the trace, and the supplement, offers the ideal framework to look behind Ellis’s obsession with surfaces.
Aimed at aficionados of Ellis’s works as well as students of contemporary American fiction and literary theory, this book discusses the central issues in Ellis’s novels through 2019 and offers a new perspective for the practical use of Derrida’s ideas. In order to ensure accessibility, a theoretical chapter introduces all the concepts necessary to understand a Derridean analysis of Ellis’s fiction. As Rip says in Imperial Bedrooms: “It means so many things, Clay.”