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.)



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