After separating from Jane Pratt at beauty site xoJane--she famously told Page 6 that she could hardly justify sitting behind a computer when she could be “looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust”--Marnell landed at VICE, where her Amphetamine Logic column attracted gallows watchers and pontificators, people eager to degrade or chide her for her actions or utilize her for ethical discussions centered on celebrity culture, confessional writers and our national obsession with the tragic.
All of which does Marnell a disservice, because one critical aspect of her infamy, indeed, the one that most likely led to that advance, is often overlooked: Marnell can write. People may see Amphetamine Logic as the solipsistic ramblings of a comely self immolator, but these people are missing the forest for the trees. When on (her writing has a parabolic quality), this is pure gonzo journalism, creative nonfiction-cum-performance art, precious glances into a troubled mind.
Setting aside moral and ethical considerations, white knight complexes and paternalistic instincts, what Marnell creates is often savagely beautiful, deserving of a book deal on its own artistic merits; her work deserves to be judged, and enjoyed, as an Aesthete, sans hand wringing guilt.
The writer, who has done work for VICE, lives in Chicago.