Abstract

This article explores Bret Easton Ellis’s negotiation in Imperial Bedrooms (2010) of what the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has identified as the paradox of “enlightened false consciousness” constitutive of cynical reason. My claim is that the novel extends Sloterdijk’s critique by short-circuiting the logic of cynical reason through the open display of seemingly sincere statements that have inevitably emerged from artifice. In particular, I consider the challenges inherent in constructing a critique from within a cynical society in which no speech act can be legitimated, justified, or grounded.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4286
Print ISSN
0093-3139
Pages
pp. 62-88
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-28
Open Access
No
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