Because it tugs at hard at the strings of history, telling stories, by mouth, by ear.
Because it asks you to focus. Right here
Because to read sound, you have to open right up, to those bits, right down there, dark reaches of the soul
with quotes from Wikipedia
post modernist writer, American
essayist, novelist, playwright
White Noise follows Jack Gladney and his family, their fear of death, obsession with death, obsession with mortality
a shadow also hangs over the book, a toxic cloud that is released into the atmosphere in the area where they live. it’s probably a metaphor for mass panic, changes for which we cannot adapt
incredibly forthright and self possessed children, almost not aware that they are children, counter point to Jack, always questioning him, disagreeing, contradicting him.
modern family, of children from many wives
the supermarket, the papers, conspiracy, fantastical stories, steeped in scifi myth
structured around very short chapters, some linked, some meditating on an idea, on Jack’s struggles to understand death and fear
TV, nuclear war, sport, performance art, the Cold War, mathematics, global terrorism and the advent of the digital age
relatively private, refusing interviews or engaging with the media
White Noise brought him to widespread recognition
concerned with “living in dangerous times”
It’s important to write against power, corporations, the state, and the whole system of consumption and of debilitating entertainments […] I think writers, by nature, must oppose things, oppose whatever power tries to impose on us.
modernist fiction and jazz
Reflecting in 1993 on his relatively late start in writing fiction, DeLillo said “I wish I had started earlier, but evidently I wasn’t ready. First, I lacked ambition. I may have had novels in my head but very little on paper and no personal goals, no burning desire to achieve some end. Second, I didn’t have a sense of what it takes to be a serious writer. It took me a long time to develop this
comparison to Thomas Pynchon, but I think his writing is more about the character, the human than Pynchon who is often more about the style
What I was really getting at in Running Dog was a sense of the terrible acquisitiveness in which we live, coupled with a final indifference to the object. After all the mad attempts to acquire the thing, everyone suddenly decides that, well, maybe we really don’t care about this so much anyway. This was something I felt characterized our lives at the time the book was written, in the mid to late seventies. I think this was part of American consciousness then
domestic privacies in relation to the wider scope of events.
In the 1970s, when I started writing novels, I was a figure in the margins, and that’s where I belonged. If I’m headed back that way, that’s fine with me, because that’s always where I felt I belonged. Things changed for me in the 1980s and 1990s, but I’ve always preferred to be somewhere in the corner of a room, observing.”
It’s tougher to be a young writer today than when I was a young writer. I don’t think my first novel would have been published today as I submitted it. I don’t think an editor would have read 50 pages of it. It was very overdone and shaggy, but two young editors saw something that seemed worth pursuing and eventually we all did some work on the book and it was published. I don’t think publishers have that kind of tolerance these days, and I guess possibly as a result, more writers go to writing class now than then. I think first, fiction, and second, novels, are much more refined in terms of language, but they may tend to be too well behaved, almost in response to the narrower market.
Many of DeLillo’s books (notably White Noise) satirize academia and explore postmodern themes of rampant consumerism, novelty intellectualism, underground conspiracies, the disintegration and re-integration of the family, and the promise of rebirth through violence.
mysterious and elusive