Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Look at Glamorama

So the other day I finished reading a book called Glamoram by Brent Easton Ellis better known as "the guy who wrote American Psycho". I loved it as I love everything I've read by him but as an English magjor type person who writes essays for fun I find the book to be more than a little embarassing.  There are all sorts of things to play with but for the life of me I have no idea what to say about some of them.  For the rest of this post you are either going to have to of read the book or understand that I am just gonna sound like a crazy person for awhile.  So it will be like every other post.

Anyway it is an interesting book.  The biggest thing I am having trouble doing anything with is all the cold imagry.  So like....45% of the imagrey in the entire book I am clueless with awesome.  Part of the problem with this is that while I realized it was important almost immediatly I didn't bother to record any of its instances.  It also varies in severity and since it happens so often the best way to critically approach it would be to see where it is absent then back break from there to uncover some sort of coherent meaning behind it.  This is mostly because it is so prevelant, I also suspect that it means more than one thing depending on when it appears and how bad it is.  Victor seems to be the only person who notices the cold which is interesting because one of the standard rules for magical realism is that no one really notices that they are in a magically realistic setting.  Everyone else ignores the cold and goes along with it but Victor always sees and comments on it.  Since Victor ocillates from cripplingly clueless of hyper observant this presents an interesting picture.  Yeah this is definitely the right track.  There are lots of stuff that Victor just sort of interacts with like the film crews or even the smell of shit that prevades the last 3rd of the book but the cold is something that Victor almost always remarks upon and interacts with in some way.  I still don't know what to do with the cold itself.  Like I said I think I need to see where it is the most absent from the novel and then I will be able to get a decent picture of it.  The fact that is is SO present makes it a little bit difficult to get a proper handle on.

Interestingly I think the cold is mostly absent on the boat from New York to London.  I also know that there is one of the clubs with the ice scupltures where the cold actually belongs.  I am pretty sure that before that point the cold wasn't quite so intense.  However, the cold shows up all over the place so yeah this is a dead en but it is also frusterating because here is something that is so obviously meaningful and yet I can't cobble together a basic meaning out of it.  Every time I start to there is something else that comes along and contridicts it or something.  Unlike the shit smell that shows up when Victor ends up in Paris which is pretty transparent in terms of meaningfulness especially since it only really happened around Bobby or when Victor was doing something involving Bobby.

Other than the cold thing which really bugs me the book is rich in critical moments that I find wonderfully engaging and easy to work with, like the film crews.  I got the film crews hell I loved the idea of the film crews and Felix the cinematographer.  Felix is an interesting guy because at first he seems like he is on Victor's side especially when he's on the boat but then all of a sudden Victor's film crew looses interest in him as the French film crew starts playing a larger and larger role.  Not only that but Victor's crew doesn't know about the French crew even though the French crew knows about Victor's crew.  Then there is the case of the two Victor's at the end.  I love that.  My working thesis is that it is the crews that make Victor real they are what define him.  When Victor's original crew is murdered by Bobby and the French film crew I think this pretty much split Victor in two.  The original Victor is left trapped somewhere in France while the French film crew Victor goes back to New York gets his shit together and generally stops being such an embarrassing human being.  Be he doesn't turn into a better person.  He is still a philanderer and he's still incredibly empty on the inside.

Whereas the original Victor's first honest to god human moment is when he chases of the French film crew who was foricing a sad girl's scene to go on for to long.  He developed actual human emotions...mostly through trauma.  He was horrified when Felix died and he even felt guilty when his final French fellow was killed unlike the French film Victor which is very much an emotionally hollow form of redemption.  At first I thought the French film Victor was just one of Bobby's body doubles or just a case of mistaken identitey but then we were given a first person look on the inside of the French film Victor and he it became clear to me that he is so much more than that...hence the working thesis.

There are other things to play with to.  I mean the very idea of using fashion models to form a terrorist organization has SO MUCH POTENTIAL all over it there are all sorts of things I can do with it.  However, that's enough for now.  Fantastic book by the way go read it.

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