Camden College (fictional college)
Camden College is a fictional liberal arts college, which appears in the works of Bret Easton Ellis, Jill Eisenstadt, and Jonathan Lethem. Whereas Ellis's Camden College is located in New Hampshire, Lethem's Camden is in Vermont, and is notable for being the most expensive college in America. All three of the writers attended Bennington College, which is really located in Vermont, and was at one time notorious for being the most expensive college in America. Bennington graduate Donna Tartt uses the same Bennington-inspired backdrop for her 1992 novel The Secret History, but for her it is Hampden College. However, Eisenstadt and Lethem uses 'Camden' in From Rockaway (1987) and The Fortress of Solitude (2003), respectively.
Camden is first mentioned in Ellis's debut novel Less Than Zero (1985), and is the central setting of his next, The Rules of Attraction (1987). Eisenstadt's From Rockaway and Tartt's The Secret History both depict working class young people who gain scholarships to the fictionalized liberal arts college; both are alluded to in The Rules of Attraction (Ellis having read the first draft of Secret History). Characters said to have attended Camden appear in Ellis's American Psycho (1991), The Informers (1994) and Glamorama (1998), the last of which features flashback sequences to the characters' Camden days. In Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude (2003), Camden appears later in the novel once main character Dylan Ebdus begins college. In Ellis's pseudo-autobiographical horror novel Lunar Park (2005), the fictional Bret Easton Ellis attended Camden College and recalls many of its fictional characters.
- Brooker, Joseph (2019-12-12). Jonathan Lethem and the Galaxy of Writing. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-350-00378-1. Search this book on
- Dobson, James E. (2016-05-20). "Shirley Jackson and the Campus Novel". In Anderson, Melanie R.; Kröger, Lisa. Shirley Jackson, Influences and Confluences. Routledge. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-317-05527-3. Search this book on
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