Hesitation Marks: The Fantastic and the Satirical in Postmodern Horror
This chapter argues that Bret Easton Ellis uses satire and parody to create an effect similar to the marvelous, outlined in Tzvetan Todorov’s theory of the fantastic. Both satire and parody are devices used in Ellis’s postmodern horror novels to create hesitation between real and imagined states. These devices are also used to create a sense of instability and unreliability with regard to the narrator. Ellis, in a familiarly postmodern manner, names himself as narrator. His self-mocking and humorous tone aids in undermining the role of the author and the position of the novel. Arguably the most horrifying aspect of Ellis’s texts is hesitation—stability and unity appear forever lost.
- Aftab, Kalem. 2005. Collective: Bret Easton Ellis Interview. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/collective/bret_pyscho?size=16x9&bgc=8A9EC3&nbram=|&bbram=1. Accessed March 27, 2017.
- Almond, Steve. 2005. Ellis Masquerades as Ellis, and It is Not a Pretty Sight. The Boston Globe, August 14. http://archive.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2005/08/14/Ellis_masquerades_as_Ellis_anditisnotaprettysight/. Accessed February 5, 2015.
- Beville, Maria. 2009. Gothic Postmodernism: Voicing the Terrors of Post-modernity. Amsterdam: Rodopi.Google Scholar
- Brannon, Robert. 1993. Torturing Women as Fine Art: Why Some Women and Men are Boycotting Knopf. In Making Violence Sexy: Feminist Views on Pornography, ed. Diana E.H. Russell, 239–244. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, Roger. 1991. Bret Easton Ellis Answers Critics of American Psycho. New York Times, March 6. http://web.lexisnexis.com/executive/document?_m=33d6fede38fb1ddd2daaf6de5d1a98ae&_docnum=1&wchp=dGLbVtb-zSkSl8_md5=e135e263391. Accessed February 5, 2017.
- Ellis, Bret Easton. 1991. American Psycho. London: Picador.Google Scholar
- ———. 2005. Lunar Park. London: Picador.Google Scholar
- Grow, Kory. 2016. American Psycho at 25: Bret Easton Ellis on Patrick Bateman’s Legacy. Rolling Stone, March 31. https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/american-psycho-at-25-bret-easton-ellis-on-patrick-batemans-legacy-175227/. Accessed January 10, 2018.
- Hutcheon, Linda. 1984. Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
- ———. 1993. The Politics of Postmodernism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- McHale, Brian. 1987. Postmodernist Fiction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Peeren, Esther. 2012. Ghostly Generation Games: Multidirectional Hauntings and Self-Spectralization in Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 53 (4): 305–321.Google Scholar
- Stillinger, Jack. 1991. Multiple Authorship and the Myth of Solitary Genius. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Teachout, Terry. 1990. American Psycho Book Review. National Review. http://www.highbeam.com/library. Accessed March 27, 2017.
- Worthington, Marjorie. 2014. Ghosts of Our Fathers: Spectral Authorship and Authenticity in Ellis’s Lunar Park. Papers on Language and Literature 50 (1): 59–89.Google Scholar