On writing things people don’t like

On writing things that people don’t like:

“Being reviewed negatively never changed the way I wrote or the topics I wanted to explore, no matter how offended some readers were by my descriptions of violence and sexuality.”

I suppose Bret Easton Ellis has earned the right to see himself as genuinely transgressive; but in fact there is often a kind of literary “Overton window“. In other words, some things pose as transgressive. Others really are. It would no longer be transgressive to write, for example, “I am gay. I enjoy being buggered”. But writing “I enjoy spanking my wife” probably would be.


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