The writers Bret Easton Ellis (author of several books, including Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and Imperial Bedrooms) and Laurent Binet (HHhH) met recently to talk about writing, adapting your work for film, and listening too much to your editors.
Laurent Binet: My first question is about something you said in Lunar Park. Actually, your character, Bret Easton Ellis, said that he is the greatest living American writer under forty. Would you have any comment about it, now, today? Or do you want to add something?
Bret Easton Ellis: Well, it’s a joke! I was making fun of myself. The Bret Easton Ellis character actually says that out loud. But no, I never thought I was one of the better American writers of my generation. I thought there were always better writers. And that’s why I’m always shocked—
Binet: Over forty!
Ellis: No, my age! Well, I wrote Lunar Park when I was under forty, so . . . No, I always though there were better writers than me. There were better writers than me when I was in college. We talked about this: my friend Eric, the famous Eric, who actually never got published. He was the best writer of us all. But he got derailed by drugs and things. He should have been the one who had the book published. And I’ve never rated myself against my contemporaries, I’ve never felt I’m part of a literary tradition or a literary scene, and I don’t really pay that much attention to the rankings of who is considered the best writer. But I do read a lot of writers, and I do kind of keep up with people my age. Though less so than I did when I was younger.
Binet: So which writer is impressing you the most today? (more…)