DeLillo’s glacial aesthetic

20100125_dondillilo_250x375

Over the last ten years, Don DeLillo has become determined to solve one of the great riddles of the ancient art of storytelling: What is the slowest speed at which a plot can move before it stops moving altogether, thereby ceasing to function as a plot? And what kind of quantum transformations might take place at that moment of absolute-zero narrative momentum? This obsession is not exactly new. DeLillo has never been celebrated for his rippin’ yarns. But his recent stretch of post-Underworld metaphysical anti-thrillers—The Body Artist, Cosmopolis, Falling Man—has reached a whole new level of inertia; they make his early talky masterpieces (White Noise, The Names) look like Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. Stasis, paradoxically, has become the animating force of his plots. Recent characters include a billionaire who gets stuck in traffic for 200 pages; a highbrow Zen contortionist who spends long stretches pretending to check her watch in slow motion; and a man who appears to be falling out of buildings but ends up hanging, frozen, in midair.

more from Sam Anderson at New York Magazine here.

Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email