Monday, June 13, 2016

Don DeLillo: 'If science makes life after death possible, we have to follow it'

Don DeLillo in New York
Don DeLillo in New York Credit: Pascal Perich/Contour by Getty Images

It was once said of Don DeLillo that he was a writer with an “ostentatiously gloomy view of American society”. He disagrees, although he acknowledges that his work has seldom offered “comfort”. Provocation, pleasure in the play of language and ideas – yes. But comfort, no.
DeLillo is the master of unease: “the chief Shaman of the paranoid school of American fiction”, as he was once described – a title, he remarked, that “one might wear honourably. But I’m not sure I’ve earned it.”

DeLillo, who grew up in the Bronx, did not start writing novels until he was 35, after a career in advertising. Over the course of 15 novels, he has burrowed deep into the sense of dislocation and collective anxiety at the heart of the American psyche, exploring the assassination of JFK, the shadow of the atom bomb, 9/11, the “white noise” of media and sensory overload.
In his new book, Zero K, he turns his attention to the future. He explores the relationship between Jeff Lockhart and his billionaire father, Ross, who has made the decision to “stretch the boundaries of what it means to be human”. He is to be cryonically preserved, along with his terminally ill wife, Artis, in the hope that they will be awoken at some future date when science has developed sufficiently to gift them with immortality.  MORE

No comments: