Early Ellroy, politics, and perspective
"She was starting to like me, so I couldn’t bring myself to tell her she was nuts."Hindsight is perfect, of course, but it's easy to see in that first the line a microcosm of Ellroy's transition from something like conventional hard-boiled to the harsher and weirder stuff that he would write later. That "nuts" hits pretty hard.
*"I laid on the more gentle, picaresque side of police work: the friendly drunks, the colorful jazz musicians in their zoot suits, the lost puppies Wacky and I repatriated to their youthful owners. I didn’t tell her about the rape-o’s, the abused kids, the stiffs at accident scenes or the felony suspects who got worked over regularly in the back rooms at Wilshire Station. She didn’t need to hear it. Idealists like Sarah, despite their naiveté, thought that the world was basically a shit place. I needed to temper her sense of reality with some of the joy and mystery. There was no way she could accept that the darkness was part of the joy. I had to do my tempering Hollywood-style."
For that matter, the second selection is, in retrospect, transitional, too. The passage reads as if its narrator, a young cop, is just talking about the sort of violence and corruption into which later Ellroy protagonists would plunge headfirst and wholeheartedly.
"A flick of the overhead light; the living room jarring white— walls, tables, cartons, shelves and odd mounds of paper— Loew and company’s once-in-a-lifetime shot at the political moon. Graphs and charts and thousands of pages of coerced testimony. Boxes of photographs with linked faces to prove treason. A big fuckload of lies glued together to prove a single theory that was easy to believe because believing was easier than wading through the glut of horseshit to say, `Wrong.'”Not that he loved those fellow travelers:
"Hollywood writers and actors and hangers-on spouting cheap trauma, Pinko platitudes and guilt over raking in big money during the Depression, then penancing the bucks out to spurious leftist causes. People led to Lesnick’s couch by their promiscuity and dipshit politics.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015
Labels: James Ellroy