WATCH THE PUPPET MASTERS NOT THE PUPPETS
WHAT was the Bret Easton Ellis interview with Isaac Chotiner in The New Yorker magazine really about?
The intent was to expose Bret Easton Ellis to the world. He’d inadvertently taken the wrong political tack– had said that people overreacted to Donald Trump. (True– and likely the intent of Trump himself.) Which meant Bret Easton Ellis had to be taken down. Destroyed. Humiliated. Publicly.
FOR MOST of his career Bret Easton Ellis was one of the established literary system’s Golden Boys. The same system-lit people or same kind of system-lit people– the herd– now piling on Ellis, celebrating his takedown, once were celebrating him.
What can artificially be propped up can also quickly be taken down. Manhattan media created Bret Easton Ellis. But then the political winds shifted. Lit-darling Bret stepped over the line. Call in an attack dog. Assigned mission: embarrass Bret Easton Ellis. Which happened.
Watch the literary/political weather vane. Which way is the wind blowing?
Are we at war with Eurasia or Eastasia today?
-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS
(Literary news is when we publish the best new short fiction featured anywhere. In conjunction with the story “Dry Bones” we interviewed the author.)
NEW POP LIT: Hi Sonia. Are you a morning writer or evening writer?
SONIA CHRISTENSEN: Definitely evening, or better yet, night. There’s something about writing in the dark—it’s easier to be honest in the dark, I think, and it’s easier to get lost in your story.
NPL: When did you first begin writing?
SC: I was pretty young when I first started writing. There was a story I wrote in te fourth grade about a girl hiding under a tree (in some kind of cavern? Underground treehouse? Not sure). My mom kept that one in her memories box for years. And then I didn’t have to take gym in the seventh grade because I took writing instead, which is one of the best things that has happened to me to date. I’d say I got serious about writing my sophomore year of college though.
NPL: What was the impetus for your story, “Dry Bones?”
SC: Well the cat was actually real. I had to take the bus to work one day and I ended up walking with a coworker from the bus stop to the warehouse and there was an actual cat there and she did actually say “oh god it’s still there,” and that got my attention to say the least.
NPL: How much of the story is imagined? How much is reality?
SC: So the cat itself was real, although I only saw it the one day and I don’t know what happened to it. Everything else is fictional.
NPL: Who’s your favorite novelist? Story writer?
SC: I’m not sure, my favorites change so often. I just read Bastard out of Carolina and fell in love with Dorothy Allison. But I also love Daniel Woodrell and Gillian Flynn and lately again my childhood favorite, Agatha Christie. Short story-wise I’d have to say Lydia Davis, George Saunders and Tobias Wolff.