24 October 2009


This interview--http://video.pbs.org/video/12947821--of novelist James Ellroy, by Tavis Smiley, shows Ellroy saying, among other things, that his novelist's modus operandi is to "create private infrastructure of big public events," in this case referring to his new novel, Blood's a Rover, about the era in American history from 1968-1972, including the assassination of M. L. King, and the psychology of assassins who seek redemption.

A writer of fiction would want to know about Ellroy's methods. Not so sure about his animus, in which, since his last novel, he has experienced a nervous breakdown, financial near-ruin, divorce, and at least two love affairs and break-ups, one with a married writer. Previously, after his mother was murdered, in 1958 (still unsolved), he became an after-hours pervert, breaking into homes and stealing women's underwear.

I've never read Ellroy, though we were born six months apart and look something alike. He lies thinking in the dark more than I. Apparently, I look at maps in light more than he.

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