DeLillo Stymies the Franz

Good on DeLillo:

An early exchange was typical of the entire interview. Franzen asked how important meaning was to DeLillo’s writing. “Not much,” the older writer deadpanned. “I’m a writer of sentences… I don’t know where meaning comes from.” Franzen is visibly chastened by this anti-response. Nevertheless, he doubles down. “Your language seems Catholic, death-haunted. Do you see yourself as a mystical writer?” DeLillo: “There is a mystical element in my work.” (Franzen added that he thought of himself as a mystical writer; I have no idea what he’s talking about.) Franzen offered that art galleries and movie theaters are “dangerous spaces” in DeLillo’s work. DeLillo dodged this, but allowed that he liked art because “it’s often beyond verbal analysis.” (DeLillo readers know that he’s actually a nuanced and effective “art critic” in his fiction.)

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. DFW’s Postcard to Don DeLillo There you go: THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTE. I HAVE NOT YET READ THE GADDIS, BUT I’M IN CONTACT WITH FRANZEN, WHO’S APPARENTLY BEEN CHARGED...
  2. Are People Starting to Tire of the Franz? The new book isn’t getting very good reviews. And this review even started out with a meta-critique of Franzen the media hound. The problem reveals...
  3. DeLillo Anyone? It’s no secret that Don DeLillo’s novels have continually been ahead of the curve. With the age of terrorism reaching some level of establishedness, Mao...
  4. DeLillo Talk There’s a nice DeLillo thread on "I Love Books." They’re talking about Underworld in relation to DeLillo’s latest two books (which I’ve heard are not...
  5. DeLillo/Pynchon Watch Gods Without Men by Hari Kunzru, reviewed by Tom LeClair at the B&N Review: When Hari Kunzru, the British son of an Indian and an...

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