Bret Easton Ellis, who I will hence refer to as BEE, has set the Guardian abuzz by saying he wouldn’t be an artist if his daddy hadn’t smacked him around. You know, I can relate to this. I’d probably have been a computer programmer if I hadn’t wanted to write angry prose about my batshit crazy mother. Sigh. I’m one lighter-handed maternal figure away from being happy and rich.
“Mostly, in my case, writing comes from pain, confusion, stress,” he says, before helpfully reciting a list of motivations: “I have father issues. Somebody didn’t love me. I became famous too young…”
Mostly, though, his writing seems to centre around those pesky paternal issues: Ellis’s property developer father, Robert, was an abusive alcoholic who died in 1992. “I hated my father,” he says blankly. “If you’re a dude and you’re super-successful, the chances are you have something to prove to Daddy… would I have become an artist without my father’s influence? No, I probably wouldn’t.”