I’m reading Play It As It Lays for the first time. I don’t recall reading about how Bret Easton Ellis stole his entire style from Joan Didion. How could I have missed that? The deadpan delivery of line after line by vacuous cyphers in Didion’s Hollywood read almost exactly like those of Ellis’s Wall Street. The pacing, the eerie hallucinogenic effect of having characters talk over one another and barely listen. The stock-like characters presented as so much dreary wallpaper in scenes whose purpose is to convey a sexually-charged alienation.
At the table on the terrace where Maria and BZ sat for dinner there were a French director, his cinematographer, and two English Lesbians who lived in Santa Monica Canyon. Maria sat next to the cinematographer, who spoke no English, and during dinner BZ and the French director disappeared into the house. Maria could smell marijuana, but it was not mentioned on the terrace. The cinematographer and the two Lesbians discussed the dehumanizing aspect of American technology, in French.
I’m not finished yet, so this post is obviously premature. But so far I’m stunned by the similarity. Has this debt already been well-established? Or am I way off base?