By examining a controversial and much debated novel like American Psycho around which a great deal of social commentary already exists, and by applying the arguments of Lodge, Jameson and others, we understand better how a work of art simultaneously functions as a deconstructive tool of the social. On this basis, when American Psycho generated a great deal of cultural anxiety in the cultural commentators of the day, it suggests that it had succeeded in denaturalizing the world, and in revealing the residual violence in an affluent, comfortable citizenry that was not expected to harbor such hostilities. American Psycho presented a disturbing “symptomatology of the times.” This capacity of the popular novel to inform on the zeitgeist makes an author such as Bret Easton Ellis a maven of our times whose products we should thus incorporate into the conceptual tool kit of any formal human studies.
Finkelstein, J. (2004), "THE NOVEL OF OUR TIMES: READING THE SOCIAL IN BRET EASTON ELLIS", Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 303-321. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-2396(04)27021-1Download as .RIS
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