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Tuesday, November 7, 2006 12:32 pm
A Humble Guy
Posted by: Keir Graff

Either James Ellroy has gone completely around the bend or he thought it would be fun to mess with Deborah Solomon. Actually, there’s a third possibility: he’s gone completely around the bend and he’s messing with her. A few snippets from the New York Times Magazine‘s Q&A:

What about more contemporary forms of expediency, like the anti-terrorism measures practiced by the Bush administration?

I do not follow contemporary politics. I live in a vacuum. I don’t read books. I don’t read newspapers. I do not own a TV set or a cellphone or a computer. I spend my evenings alone, usually lying in the dark talking to women who aren’t in the room with me.

Do you think of yourself as a novelist or as a crime writer?

I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime writer who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music.

How do you know since you say you don’t read other books?

I just know. There is a line from a wonderful Thomas Lux poem: “You’re alone and you know a few things.” I just know that I am that good.

He also calls Raymond Chandler “overrated,” claims he’s better than Hammett, and says his schtick isn’t an act. One thing I’m certain is true: he definitely spends his evenings alone.

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