A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil


Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

Imperial Bedrooms - Bret Easton Ellis Catching up with Clay, the protagonist from 'Less Than Zero', was an attractive prospect, not to mention Julian, so this was a 'must read' for me. Ellis uses a very engaging postmodern structural device here: making 'Less Than Zero' - both novel and film - exist in the narrative universe of the sequel. The scene where Clay, Julian and Blair are attending a screening of the film and Clay is dealing with the differing realities - and Julian with his filmic death - is classic. Ellis's typical mastery of place and character is on show, and his ability to really emulate his theme - drench everything in narrative focus - make you confront a disturbing urban bleakness. I had a great time with the build up of tension as Clay begins to meltdown, and the 'mystery' element of the plot is played with. But, eventually, there is a bizarre turn or shift (I don't quite know what word to use here...), which I think is meant to be clever and unexpected, and to show you that life is not like a film script, as Julian has said, but comes off as silly, almost Monty Python-esque, when I believe it's meant to be chilling and confronting.

Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus