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June 2, 2008

I fear that many of my literature-based posts in the future may deal with Don DeLillo. I’ve all but committed myself to focusing on him for my master’s thesis so I’m working to read as many of his works as possible over the summer. I recently finished the novel Libra and then briefly started Players. Deciding that I need a brief break from DeLillo, I began Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Yes, yes–I’m very PoMoey this summer and I’m loving it.

In great news, too, my first choice professor to direct my thesis tentatively said yes. He has published a few books on postmodernism and has unique views of postmodernism–specifically his notion of the romantic metaphysics of DeLillo’s fiction. I’m very much looking forward to working on this project for about a year–wish me luck.

On to the novel:

Libra (published in 1988) is DeLillo’s quasi-historical account of the JFK assassination. He focuses on the mindset of Lee Harvey Oswald and the years leading up to the national tragedy. Both the forward and afterward, by the author, go through great pains to state that the novel is purely fictional with a tinge of historical fact. My favorite portion of the work is DeLillo’s exploitation of the ambiguity of nomenclature.
There’s not much more to say about the novel other than it is aesthetically wonderful. It’s not as if there is a secret ending to the story; I suppose that’s the problem one runs into when writing semi-historical fiction. If Philippa Gregory can be considered successful (I suggest that you never pay money to see The Other Boleyn Girl, it’s awful) then DeLillo should certainly be considered masterful.
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