From Bateman to Rat Man: American Psycho's unnatural selections

Haynes, Douglas (2017) From Bateman to Rat Man: American Psycho's unnatural selections. In: Wehrs, Donald R and Blake, Thomas (eds.) The Palgrave handbook of affect studies and textual criticism. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 781-802. ISBN 9783319633039

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Abstract

This chapter reads Bret Easton Ellis’s slasher satire American Psycho (1991) as a novel about the displacement of affects in capitalism. Using ideas from evolutionary psychology alongside writers on economy and psychoanalysis, this chapter investigates how structures of feeling in the finance economy of the narrative are both symptomatic and constitutive of the capital relationship—hiding the truth as well as facilitating lies. Patrick Bateman, Ellis’s financier protagonist and serial killer, becomes the horror hidden in plain sight that we all experience and yet repress in our everyday world.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: affect, Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho, Marx, Freud, evolutionary psychology
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for American Studies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ1725 Ethics of social groups, classes, etc. Professional ethics
E History America
E History America > E151 United States (General) > E0838 Later twentieth century, 1961-2000
E History America > E151 United States (General)
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0360 Prose
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0430 Wit and humour. Satire
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0359 Evolution
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology > QH0501 Life
Depositing User: Douglas Haynes
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 10:33
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2018 10:33
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/79676

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