Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo My rating: 3 of 5 stars Don DeLillo's third novel, Great Jones Street (1973), is often billed as a classic rock and roll novel, but readers who expect an inside look at the rock scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s will be disappointed. The narrator and protagonist, … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Great Jones Street
White Noise: Text and Criticism by Don DeLillo My rating: 5 of 5 stars I am interested in the question of whether or not this book holds up. It was long judged exemplary of a cultural epoch: the postmodern novel par excellence, or at least an excellent postmodern novel that undergraduates could reasonably be expected … Continue reading Don DeLillo, White Noise
Falling Man by Don DeLillo My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have avoided Falling Man for a decade because a novel about 9/11 by Don DeLillo seemed so literal—every novel by Don DeLillo is about 9/11, is about people driven to desperate acts by the desire to feel some real encounter with the numinous … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Falling Man
Zero K by Don DeLillo My rating: 3 of 5 stars As Christian Lorentzen reminds us, The late John Leonard identified “at least three DeLillos”: the “Poster Boy” of postmodernism who saw through the corporation and the television, starting with the first half of Americana, set in a network TV office and surely one … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Zero K
Running Dog by Don DeLillo My rating: 4 of 5 stars Guernica: Do you have any favorite genre writers or books? Don DeLillo: I don’t really read much of that. I don’t read detective work and I am afraid I don’t read graphic novels. Guernica: That’s interesting, because your books often make little feints in … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Running Dog
Libra by Don DeLillo My rating: 5 of 5 stars In earlier times, the bullet had been other things, because Pythagorean metempsychosis is not reserved for humankind alone. —Borges, "In Memoriam, J.F.K." (trans. Andrew Hurley) Literature is the attempt to interpret, in an ingenious way, the myths we no longer understand, at the moment we … Continue reading Don DeLillo, Libra
It's been almost fourteen years since James Wood warned us about "hysterical realism," presumably the major novelistic mode of the late twentieth century. According to Wood, it is a mode devoted to information, coincidence, captial-P Politics, various forms of irrealism (caricature, fantasy, metafiction), and a breathlessness of tone: Rushdie, DeLillo, Pynchon, Wallace, etc. We're well … Continue reading Penitential Realism?