The OF Blog: A quote from Don DeLillo's latest novel, Point Omega

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A quote from Don DeLillo's latest novel, Point Omega

The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.  The true life takes place when we're alone, thinking, feeling, lost in memory, dreamingly self-aware, the submicroscopic moments.


I almost believed him when he said such things.  He said we do this all the time, all of us, we become ourselves beneath the running thoughts and dim images, wondering idly when we'll die.  This is how we live and think whether we know it or not.  These are the unsorted thoughts we have looking out the train window, small dull smears of meditative panic. (p. 17)
Received my copy of DeLillo's Point Omega in the mail a couple of hours ago.  Just now started reading it and so far, it is an engaging read.  Only 119 pages, so it shouldn't take too much longer for me to finish it.  Don't know if/when I'll write a review (after all, I have this wrist bandage I'm supposed to be wearing and it doesn't make typing a fun thing to do), but I thought people here might appreciate this little quote. 

Care to share your reactions to it?  Poor/well-written?  Sentiments jibe with your own?  Ever read any of DeLillo's works before?  Thinking about reading this book?


Anonymous said...

I like it. Some people might call a passage like that "overly introspective" or some such thing, but generally I like to come across reflective asides like this. Also, the passage immediately made me think of this quote from Erikson's Midnight Tides:

"The critical part of herself could well have sneered at the contrivance, as if the only genuine gestures were the small ones, the ones devoid of an audience. As if true honesty belonged to solitude, since to be witnessed was to perform, and performance was inherently false since it invited expectation."

- Zach

Joe said...

"I prefer his earlier work"...

Sorry, couldn't resist using that - and it's not true, because I'm a fan of most of DeLillo's career (the prologue to!).

But I haven't had much success with DeLillo's recent shorter work. Starting with The Body Artist, he's been difficult for me. Even Falling Man. This may sound strange, but his new work is "DeLillo, only more so". And it's too much in a short novel.

I've read everything he's put out except Ratner's Star and Point Omega. This includes his plays.

James said...

As if I don't have enough to read at the moment, you have to go and quote that? I have never read any of DeLillo's work before, but I have heard enough positive word about him that, with this fresh in mind, I will certainly be reading some of his work.

Martin said...

The Body Artist is a funny one, it must be a deliberate response to the (justified) acclaim of Underworld but no one likes it. I thought Falling Man was something approaching a return to form.

It is interesting Joe steered clear of Ratner's Star. I found it pretty much unreadable. It is an awkard half=point between End Zone and White Noise.

Joe said...

Martin: I think I need to give Falling Man another read. It was a definite improvement after The Body Artist and Cosmospolis, but may have hit me at the wrong time.

Strangely, though, I haven't been ducking Ratner's Star. It just took me a really long time to find a copy of it and by the time I did, I needed a break from DeLillo. I just haven't picked it up since.

Interesting thing, End Zone was what hooked me on DeLillo and I'm grateful to Professor Fynaardt for assigning it. Ratner's Star is still early DeLillo. I rather prefer The Names, published three years before White Noise - though, to be fair, I haven't checked to see how any of them hold up for me on a re-read.

Lsrry said...

Having read Cosmopolis but not Falling Man, I can say at least that I liked Point Omega much better than the former. Changed my mind - will write a short review in the morning/afternoon, as this ended up being a novel that's going to occupy my thoughts until I put them down in writing, it seems...

Mark said...

Loved it. Posted my thoughts here:

Harry Markov said...

According to this, life has been happening to me. *proud* :) I agree. YES!

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