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Title: Why is everyone not falling in love? : love and sex in the neoliberal era as seen through the lens of Bret Easton Ellis' 'Less Than Zero', 'The Rules of Attraction', 'The Informers' and 'American Psycho'
Author: Rymajdo, Kamila
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 5354
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2016
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Notions of love and sex are rewritten by every era but this essay concerns itself with the period of 1980s and 90s neoliberalism, as seen through the texts that make up the early oeuvre of Bret Easton Ellis, namely 'Less Than Zero', 'The Rules of Attraction', 'The Informers', 'American Psycho' and their film adaptations. I began my research by examining various notions of love, from Plato all the way to the 90s pop culture classic 'Clueless' (dir. Amy Heckerling, 1995), and eventually narrowed my focus to three distinct and opposing theories, which I will describe as romantic love, love as use of erotic capital and sex as liberation, which I found in Alain Badiou's 'In Praise of Love', Catherine Hakim's 'Honey Money' and Wilhelm Reich's 'The Sexual Revolution'. These frameworks were chosen in accordance with my decision to examine love under the specific conditions of neoliberalism, following the study of such theorists as the already mentioned Slavoj Žižek, as well as David Harvey, Renata Salecl and others. It is from this juncture that I began to write a novel that explores love and sex through a layered approach, where meaning is accumulated through structural and stylistic choices as well as plot and character development. It soon became apparent that a writer who examines love in the throes of disintegration as a result of the assault of neoliberalism and whose emphatic use of style to critique this system I drew on most closely was Bret Easton Ellis.
Supervisor: Kureshi, Hanif ; Angel, Katherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English language and literature