Friday, June 27, 2003

Catherine on Don DeLillo denying he's ever read a book: I can see why he says that. Part of the edge of his fiction is its awareness of its own obsolescence in an electronic-media world, which is perhaps why it's so hard to sustain engagement with his style over the gargantuan length of Underworld (for me at least). I also imagine he said it because he's tired of the question, being one of the two or three questions (along with "Do you write on a computer?" and "What do you eat when you're writing?") that authors get at readings.

It's funny to say about Cosmopolis, though, precisely because of the flaunting of poetry in the narrative (the protagonist's wife is even said to be a poet, though he thinks her poetry is "shit").

I saw DeLillo read in Boston when Underworld was released--it was actually pretty weird, because the room at the Boston Public Library was full when I got there and I had to watch DeLillo on a video screen from another room. What read on the page as artifice got read as the natural rhythms of speech, though in a kind of heightened, rapid-fire, Mametish way--it was quite compelling.

When he signed my book he lifted the pen off the page with a flourish and said, "Rock and roll!"

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