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The Transgression of Bret Easton Ellis: A Salon in Virtual Reality

August 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

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In an i.i. first, the discussion will take place in virtual reality, via the Virgils VR platform. No headset? No problem. The platform is accessible from any web browser. (Though, we do recommend joining from an Oculus Quest 2.) The salon will be hosted by MIT lecturer & best-selling author Micah Nathan and Virgils co-founder Christian Ulstrup.


Who’s afraid of Bret Easton Ellis?

The author of Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho found hearts of darkness in the affluent hills of Los Angeles, on a private liberal arts campus, and Wall Street. At this 2-hour salon, we’ll discuss three of Bret Easton Ellis’s famous (infamous?) novels and their translation to film, his impact on American culture, and what we can learn about Gen X from his distinct characters, characterization, settings, and prose. We’ll meet in VR — join from any device


Recommended reading/watching:


Questions for discussion:

  • BEE’s novels are distinctly “1980s Americana,” with copious amounts of drugs, New Wave, and MTV. Why did they resonate so much with Gen X culture? Are his characters purely products of the times, or is their something perennial about their personalities?
  • What is the purpose of satire, irony, and cynicism in art? Is it useful or a dead end?
  • How do these books make you feel? And did those feelings translate to film?
  • Is there such a thing as the anti-hero’s journey?
  • Why the extreme behavior and violence, especially in light of the 80s’s relative abundance and economic growth?



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August 26, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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Christian Ulstrup
Micah Nathan