The archive as both plot element and narrative presentation factors significantly into the work of James Ellroy’s novels in the L.A. Quartet and USA Underworld Trilogy series. This article examines the important role of the archive as a source of information and evidence that Ellroy’s characters utilize in their attempts at either maintaining or attacking the status quo. Through these novels, Ellroy conveys the potential power archives wield over the trajectory of history and our understanding of it by demonstrating how the historical record is often shaped in favor of the powerful. Yet even if the archive is a manifestation of the power narratives that dominate society in any given time, it also holds the potential to reveal truths that disrupt that power.
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Wiles, Bradley J.
"A Reckless Verisimilitude: The Archive in James Ellroy’s Fiction,"
disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory: Vol. 27, Article 21.
Available at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/disclosure/vol27/iss1/21