Underworld etc

Thanks to Dan Wickett for this extremely helpful link to a site called Don DeLillo’s America. It has lists of virtually every critical DeLillo document a DeLillo fan could ask for, including lots of links to reviews and articles on the web (unfortunately, some of the links have expired, but a resourceful DeLillo fan should have little problem ferreting out a copy of the document in question). There’s a quirky FAQ, an interesting bio composed of quotes by and about DeLillo, and lists of his works (broken into novels, stories, plays, and other).

There’s also a "Detractors" section featuring the always vehemently antagonistic Dale Peck. But even better is a little snoot of a gem from George Will where he gets beside himself over Libra, DeLillo’s book about the Kennedy assassination.

There’s an "Odds and Ends" section which tells us, among other things, that current Booker favorite David Mitchell used a line from Americana as the epigraph for his second novel Number9Dream ("It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams.")

Lastly, the site helped me locate this NYTimes page whic has a wide variety of DeLillo resources, including two reviews of Underworld, one by Martin Amis and one by Michiko Kakutani. The Amis review is interesting in that he picks up on DeLillo’s excellent ability to write good dialog (”She’s got a great body for how many kids?” ”They put son of a bitches like you behind bars is where you belong.” ”I’m a person if you ask me questions. You want to know who I am? I’m a person if you’re too inquisitive I tune you out completely.” ”Which is the whole juxt of my argument.” — DeLillo has an especially ability for a certain street-smark variant of the New York accent).

Amis also correctly notes that a large part of Underworld is showing how America came to terms with the idea of perpetually living under the threat of nuclear annihilation. It also deals with the nuclear check coming due after the Cold War ends — we have lots of rotting bombs, but no way to safely dispose of them or keep them out of the wrong hands.

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