Don DeLillo

Ned

Ruby Tuesday
Any fans? I've read four of his books (White Noise, Americana, Underworld, and Great Jones Street) and I eventually hope to get through all the rest. Best prose in the 20th century if you ask me.
 

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
Ned said:
Any fans? I've read four of his books (White Noise, Americana, Underworld, and Great Jones Street) and I eventually hope to get through all the rest. Best prose in the 20th century if you ask me.
i read white noise. always dead impressed by the fact that brian eno designed its cover, though that he composed the microsoft start-up noise never quite tipped me over into being a windows user (http://www.coolcatdaddy.com/rand/observations-mssound.html) ;)

i liked white noise. 'bout some college professor teaching "nazi studies" driven into a sort of "paralysis of fear" by a protective society. i wonder if k-punk has read it? what did you make of it ned?
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i don't want to be accused of intellectual bullying but i don't like de lillo. i read mao II first. i liked that.

so i read white noise. i think david toop mentions it in ocean of sound which would explain how matt came to read it. (is that a good guess matt?)

i didn't like that. it was the smart-arsery that put me off i think. it felt too contrived.

i didn't hate that nearly as much as underworld though which i think is a major acheivement of shitness.
overreaching himself. i don;t like the folksy pose/prose and i don't buy it either. straining for profundity and coming off like a smartarse is what i reckon.

plus no book can justify being that long, life is short and books should be too.

i think i'll get drunk by myself now. anyone want to come round and cook me dinner?

oh yeah, you reminded me, i read libra as well. i can't remember hardly anything about that book.
 

Woebot

Administrator
Staff member
luka said:
so i read white noise. i think david toop mentions it in ocean of sound which would explain how matt came to read it. (is that a good guess matt?)

i didn't like that. it was the smart-arsery that put me off i think. it felt too contrived.
gurgle, yes thats exactly what lead me to it.

i'm hardly qualified to have an opinion anyway, i've read about two books in the last five years.

(back to the music forum
)
 

francesco

Minerva Estassi
I much liked Mao II (his best for me) and White Noise, Libra also a bit, Underworld is still unopened somewhere here, but, yes, his writing is sometimes too smart for my taste, so smart that sometimes isn't very good at nothing except clear smartness. Not that i didn't like it but I wasn't (with the exception of afoermentioned Mao II) really amazed. The same happened with the most recents Pynchon books; I rate V and Gravity's Rainbow as two of the most great books ever, but the magic didn't work anymore with Vineland and Mason_Dixon, not at all bad, but genius on autopilot.

francesco
 

satanmcnugget

Well-known member
he's one of those writers i always meant to check out and never did, for whatever reason...part of thge problem is that i read so much about the books in reviews and whatnot that it kinda eroded my desire to read em for myself...enough time has lapsed that i think i shld probably dig into him soon...and Paul Bowles, too


(surprises me that Woebot isnt a big reader...very well-written/concise blogwriting without being overly pretentious...that usually signals someone who is well-read)
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I've read a few Delillos with plenty of admiration and minimal affection.

The one I read most recently (several years ago) was Cosmopolis, which I was surprised to find myself liking.

The detachment and irony of his style, also some of his metaphors e.g. (the only bit I now remember) the sunlight "scrolling" up the horizon. He either captures something about modernity or helps invent it. That is, the mythologising of the modern.

I bet I've missed humour in Delillo cos he has such a "lofty" reputation.

Luka was right about the cleverness, the naked cleverness, never a feeling not refracted through irony
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I suppose he's satirising modernity at all times

I have a similar sort of relationship with Ballard's fiction. It's not human interest in the more traditional sense. I can't connect to it emotionally but either that's the point or it's more about creating an *anti* emotion.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
The novel as a formal exercise, a high-wire act of style...

But then, there's much more emotion in Madame Bovary than I'd expect to find in a Delillo book. Just not *warm* emotions.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I do find a lot of Ballard's ideas fascinating, particularly in interview form, but maybe my disinterest in post modern writers generally speaking is that I'm not "in it" for the ideas.

Having read Nabokov's lectures at an impressionable age, I ended up thinking to identify with fiction was a sort of juvenile way to read, that you always had to keep an eye on the author. Useful as it is to be able to (or so you think) see what the author's doing, it's always going to involve feelings, and why shouldn't it? Tempted to soar off on some tangent about Eliot's theory of impersonality, but anyway...

What I'm trying to say is that perhaps I'm just not the sort of person who could ever appreciate these more conceptual forms (incidentally I'm not a fan of conceptual art much at all).

Ulysses is an interesting one cos it's so conceptual but also so full of beauty and compassion.
 
I was really into the Crash film, wasn't so keen on Cosmopolis.
I thought both adaptations were shit, and I'm a fan of his work generally. Maps to the Stars, which was either adapted from a Bruce Wagner novel or scripted by him, was hugely disappointing given the perfect ingredients (great cast, great director, great writer, etc.) All it did was make me feel numb, kind of sick with indignation, and like sticky all over for some reason. But I guess that's what a Los Angeles novel/book is supposed to do. History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method were outstanding, masterpieces even. I don't know what happened. It's like he got old or something.

re Delillo: in terms of sheer power and beauty of language no one from the postwar era compares. I think his humor, warmth, and humanity have been overlooked in part because of the formal and aesthetic genius. DD is a writer's writer. There isn't a writer on the planet who wouldn't sell their soul to write sentences like Don. Don't get me wrong, sometimes the plots of his novels stall out, sometimes the dialogue feels unnatural, but who gives a fuck? Just enjoy the mastery over language while you can because there will never be another like him.

Novels of the future will look like a Twitter wall, just a splatter field of broken language and sponsored content. On a screen.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Only just occurred to me that Cronenberg has adapted Ballard and DeLillo
Did he do Cosmopolis? It seems to me that if you gonna adapt a book then you should understand it or at least think you understand it and so have an opinion on it. With Cosmopolis it felt as though that wasn't the case - so it was just a film with the guy from the vampire films driving around in a car. I dunno how good the book was to start with though to be fair. There was one line that stuck with me though (can't remember if it's in the film or not), something about buying a massive penthouse flat or whatever for 100 million dollars or whatever and making the point that the reason for paying that much was not cos of how good the flat was, it was simply to have paid that much money. You pay that much for the status of there being the fact that you have paid that much money - there is no other way to achieve that except by doing it. I think DeLillo put it better though. You'd hope so.
My favourite of his books (that I've read) is White Noise - someone said it's too long which means they should never read Underworld which is five times as long with a fifth of the merit.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Don DeLillo: the Word, the Image and the Gun

Revolutions, natural disasters, toxic fall-out, plane crashes - these are all part of the running picture of news against which America's leading novelist, Don DeLillo , sets his fiction. In this film, as in his novels, DeLillo pinpoints the deep unease beneath the surface of our lives. The film begins with the assassination of President Kennedy and the politics of violence it brought to television screens for the first time. It goes on to look at the way the media has continued to feed its audience images of disaster and terror: massacres in great public squares, disasters in football stadiums, and dramatic acts of terrorism. DeLillo explores the relationship between words and images, and between gunmen and the novelist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DTePKA1wgc
 
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