Bret Eaton Ellis says Alice Munro, 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, is overrated.
“Alice Munro is so completely overrated,” tweeted Bret Eaton Ellis, 49. “Alice Munro was always an overrated writer and now that she’s won the Nobel she always will be. The Nobel is a joke and has been for ages.”
So far, the only person in agreement with Ellis’s snarky assessment has been the writer Christian Lorentzen, who wrote a highly critical review of Munro’s most recent short-story collection, Dear Life, for the London Review of Books.
A sample passage from Lorentzen’s withering review: “Over a career now in its sixth decade, she’s rehearsed the same themes again and again, but that’s because she’s a master of variation. She has preternatural powers of sympathy and empathy, but she’s never sentimental.”
On Friday, Lorentzen responded via Twitter to Ellis’s dismissal of Munro with the comment, “Amen,” and claimed that Munro’s Nobel win put him on the right side of a wager. “The only thing I won was a bet,” tweeted Lorentzen.
On the flipside, Ellis has publicly stated his belief that the blind early-round auditions of The Voice are “probably the most emotionally stirring and suspenseful episodes on television right now.”
To recap: Bret Easton Ellis believes Munro is unworthy of acclaim, but really admires a reality TV singing competition starring Christina Aguilera?
Will the Ellis troll take a hike already?
Wonder who voted yes?
Nice to see him taking a break from attacking out actors!
M. Bomer, C. Colfer, et al.
So, throw him a pint of vodka and B.E.E. becomes George O'Dowd.
He just tweets controversial things to try to stay relevant. If not no one would be talking about him or his work.
BEE is just jealous. That Nobel money could buy him a lot of cocaine.
She is nowhere near overrated, but I'm surprised the Nobel was awarded to someone who only writes short stories. Not that short stories are any less difficult to pen. A perfect short story can be fantastically difficult to write. But it's almost the equivalent of seeing a culinary award given to a pastry chef instead of a "savory" chef.
So who voted yes, and why?
R8, writing an effective short story takes as much skill as writing a novel. In some ways, even more difficult because there is less room for error.
Oh R10, I am not doubting the difficulty of a short story v. a novel, as I agree. Less room for error; less words and faster pace to capture the reader's attention. I made the comparison to pastry because pastry, too, is more difficult than "food food" but doesn't usually get the credit that most chefs do.
What about that quote from the critic is "withering"?
Whether BEE is over-rated or not has no bearing on the quality of Alice Munro's writing.
He's the Teddy Roosevelt of writers - popular among younger men because he writes on topics that glamorize things that adolescent young men like.
She's not that great either.
R13 what is your main beef with Alice Munro writing?
Listen to Philip Roth at R13. Yes, do tell us what's 'not so great' about Alice Munro.
Apparently Munro has several fans here, so - what is it that makes her short stories Nobel-worthy?
It doesn't matter how valid Ellis's opinion may or may not be, really (though I suspect he is at least as jealous as he is honest).
It's just generally kind of douchebaggish to deride a Nobel winner who is well his elder on her day of acclaim, right?
R16, perhaps this link will help a little. Click on the red dots above the phrases.
10 Reasons Why Alice Munro is a genius:
"Nice to see him taking a break from attacking out actors!"
Female authors are the new out actors!
Thank you, R18, but I asked that question, deliberately, so that her fans here on the Datalounge would give me their personal reasons.
Do you not feel confident enough in your own literary taste to offer an opinion?
The only thing Bret Easton Ellis could ever hope to win is a door prize.
90 people voted so far but how many of them have actually read Munro's work? Just saying.
God, has he got her number right. Nothing against her, but her inexplicable fame just shows how ridiculous the twattery contingent is.
Sure, there have been a nice handful of decent female writers over the centuries. Great writers, even. But, Christ, it seems that the need to pretend that women somehow are equal in inherent talent, intelligence, communication skills, aesthetic judgment and artistic drive to men is just ridiculous. Women crap out the same thing over and over and over - the female pattern in writing - and then we're supposed to cheer just because they are masters of playing the academic system and suckering publishers. And minority status just makes it worse.
Munro has added nothing to her offerings for 40 years. One note. But of COURSE she gets a Nobel for sheer repetition.
"God, has he got her number right"
I think B.E.E is posting here so he can agree with himself. You're just a dumb, misogynistic Republican. Go away.
Seriously, this is like Megan Fox criticizing Meryl Streep for not being a good actress.
r23, your misogyny is so rank and stupid that I can only assume your post is a parody.
For those of you asking us to prove that we've read her short stories and to justify her Nobel win - Fuck you. If you won't accept the Nobel committee, then we'd be idiots to bother explaining it to you.
Leave Alice Munro alone!
And yet, R25, you can't seriously name even one female writer worthy of a Nobel.
Shove your sexism back up your cunt, or its proxy, dear. The advent of the "We're talented too" has ruined not only every English department in the western world, but lowered artistic standards, critical standards, and simple aesthetic understanding.
I would have given Eudora Welty a Nobel. I'm not against women. But Munro is one end of the problem of serious fiction today, with the execrable T. Morrison and her sisters of the victim on the other. At LEAST Oates will never get one, but that's a small consolation for the amount of paper she has wasted over the decades.
And how is it, R24, that you managed to pull an American political connection to an opinion about a Canadian winning an international prize? Are you yet another worthless tit as well? The assumption that I am American just shows how mindless the herd of the twat is.
Thank God Munro's got one of these.
Ellis' books suck. "American Psycho" - the film - is great only because the direction, acting, and script were right. The novel itself is gratuitous and dull.
I didn't think the movie was so hot either.
r28 must be that Canadian professor who refuses to teach literature written by women because of his severe inadequacy issues.
R32, believe it or not most men actually and quietly find fault with much of what women have become and pretend to be without inadequacy entering the picture. It is a rare man who, whatever his sexual interests, cannot see through the shallow, vain, lazy and rather stupid things that the majority of women unfortunately have become.
So nice try. But, again, reflexive twattery without an attempt to present a worthy female writer. But then all you shits defending Munro have not ever bothered to read even one of her short stories, have you? Of course not. And I have. So stuff it back up your voids.
Speaking of crapping out the same thing over and over again, has Ellis ever written anything other than the same shitty "sexy, amoral alpha male is super mean and straight and yet somehow kinda gay" bilge? And what about Philip "my new novel is about the angry boner I still have for the Shikshas" Roth?
BEE writes crap and it was crappy faddy crap that is not even "in" anymore.
Oh Christ, the Datalounge Misogynist Troll is off his meds again.
Darling, you give dicks a bad name.
She's really good - which is fine, if "really good" is your favorite quality.
I find her excellence oppressive.
I wish B.E.E. was posting here and I wish he was gossiping.
R23, a handful of female writers are amongst my favorite (Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf, Flannery O'Connor), but I do see an annoying pattern/deficiency in a LOT of chick-lit female writers in that themes constantly seem to revolve around romance, family, children and interpersonal melodramatic relationships (boring).
However, almost an equal amount of (straight) male writers are just as irritating and redundant. How many f'ing books written by straight men have to have the protagonist be the macho hero chasing after the girl? Equally boring.
The best writers, IMO, write neutrally/genderlessly.
I've read many of her books. She's wonderful. Is she Nobel prize winning material? I really don't know as I don't read broadly enough to judge, but I'm happy for her nevertheless. She certainly is in a much higher class than Bret Eaton Ellis, so his opinion is irrelevant.
[quote]But, Christ, it seems that the need to pretend that women somehow are equal in inherent talent, intelligence, communication skills, aesthetic judgment and artistic drive to men is just ridiculous.
What a strange little person you are. What is your background? Perhaps certain women in your life have abused you in some way. Your revenge is to hate all women without discrimination. Or maybe you're from a repressed society where people aren't educated and human rights takes a back seat, ie sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. all run rampant. Which is it? Whatever the case, you've got problems.
"Chick-lit" is not literature and neither is James Patterson etc so they do not have to be mentioned in threads about literature.
In one of her stories, a child vanishes and then is found and the writer considers the knife-edge margin between a tragedy and an ordinary day. I think about that story a lot.
[quote]a handful of female writers are amongst my favorite (Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf, Flannery O'Connor), but I do see an annoying pattern/deficiency in a LOT of chick-lit female writers in that themes constantly seem to revolve around romance, family, children and interpersonal melodramatic relationships (boring).
I don't know what you mean exactly. You say you like Joyce Carol Oates and Joan Didion but they both most definitely write about relationships, romance, children, but so do male writers, and what's wrong with that anyway. It's all part of the human condition.
I guess you mean you don't get the mountain of crap books that get published every year. It's not a gender thing. Many people just like to read escapist crap as a break from the stress of life. They don't want to read stuff where they have to work. Each to his/her own.
Yeah well Ms. Uppity R41, Bret Eaton Ellis is not "literature" either but yet here you are posting in this thread.
Books are so decorative!
I prefer BEE books over hers. Why? Simply, because he uses a lot of LGBT themes in his writing, Munro- none. That itself should be the main criterion for any gay reader.
R46. NO books for you. You don't deserve them.
Bret is a very special writer, one who has much more resonance than his more critically celebrated so-called peers, and who will continue to have resonance for decades to come. It may be a fool's game to guess which novels will be read in 50 or 100 years, but I am sure American Psycho will be one of them. Glamorama is a novel I hope gets taken more seriously.
R47, take a look at this list. How many books by Ellis? 3. How many by Munro? 0. This list was prepared by well known literary critics and it's not only for novels, there are short stories and novellas included, yet not even one by Munro. So no books for you, asshole.
Even notorious misogynists Truman Capote and Camille Paglia, decades apart, agreed there are great women writers. In no other fields have women excelled, but in writing, yes. (Their view, not mine)
So let's get past this bullshit. A good writer isn't great for dealing with gay, African-American, or women's issues.
that is a pretty subjective list, R49
Thanks for weighing in, Bret at R48.
I wouldn't call Alice Munro overrated, but she has a small range of stories, and many of them are very alike. She's Canadian, and everything that comes with that credential. I'm just surprised that she wound up with a Nobel, that's all.
I am not anti-Alice Munro, but I have attempted to read some stories of hers and have given up - twice. Does she just write about boring people in a boring way - is that her thing?
He's a fine one to talk.
I've never read Alice Munro but want to give her a try. Which book of hers should I read?
They didn't give it to Borges or Eileen Chang last century, both of whom were known for their truly excellent short stories.
So I guess Short Story as a genre is Now Finally Kosher, by Nobel standard. I can sleep better tonight.
Thank god they didn't give it to Philip Roth, or I'd have to kill myself.
R58. It doesn't matter. They're all essentially the same stories.
He needs to sit on a tetanus covered iron spiked dildo and fuck himself into eternity
Says the writer of The Canyons...and other shite.
No writer can, will or should appeal to all readers. That being said, Ellis is a pot stirring ass, as usual.
R58. I would recommend that you read "The Progress of Love." It is, as expected, a collection of short stories. Wonderful book.
If it weren't for his increasingly insane Twitter farts, NOBODY who remember him, and for an egomaniac like B.E.E. that must burn like a laser. It must gall him that an octogenarian writer has become hip again, while he has stooped to defend a misguided "movie" starring a big cocked porn dweeb and the poster child for "pissed on opportunities".
I've never read Munro, as I'm not much a fan of the short story form particularly as it's applied to tales of domestic drama.
But if there's one thing I do know, it's that Bret Easton Ellis is at best a medium talent who would say anything for a little more attention.
If I have one bit of disappointment, it's that this likely means no Nobel for Margaret Atwood, because are they really going to give it to another Canadian woman fiction writer in the next few years? Highly doubtful. And I think Atwood's body of work is just tremendous, and highly deserving of this prize.