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Encyclopedia > Don DeLillo
Don DeLillo

Born November 20, 1936 (1936-11-20) (age 70)
New York City
Occupation novelist
Nationality United States
Literary movement Postmodern
Debut works Americana
Influences Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis
Influenced Bret Easton Ellis, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen

Don DeLillo (born November 20, 1936) is an American author best known for his novels, which paint detailed portraits of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He currently lives in New York City. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... This article is about work. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... In English usage, nationality is the legal relationship between a person and a country. ... ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Americana, Don DeLillos first book, is a novel in two and half parts. ... Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. ... William Gaddis (December 29, 1922 - December 16, 1998) was an American novelist. ... Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American author. ... David Foster Wallace (born February 21, 1962) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. ... Jonathan Franzen (born August 17, 1959) is an award-winning American novelist and essayist. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... For other uses, see Author (disambiguation). ... This article is about the literary concept. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... 20XX redirects here. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...

Contents

Biography

DeLillo was born in the Bronx in New York City, a child of Italian immigrants from the village of Montagano (Campobasso), and attended Fordham University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1958. His family name was apparently partially anglicized, as the correct Italian spelling of it would be "De Lillo." There are no specific elements in his fiction that connect to Italian culture, and, unlike other Italian-American authors such as Mario Puzo or John Fante, he does not focus to any extended degree on his Italian origins (though some such material appears in his work Underworld). For other uses, see Bronx (disambiguation). ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Montagano is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Campobasso in the Italian region Molise, located about 9 km north of Campobasso. ... Campobasso (It. ... Fordham University is a private, coeducational research university[2] in the United States, with three residential campuses located in and around New York City. ... For other degrees, see Academic degree. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mario Gianluigi Puzo (October 15, 1920 – July 2, 1999) was an American author known for his novels about the Mafia, especially The Godfather (1969). ... John Fante (April 8, 1909 – May 8, 1983) was an American novelist, short-story and screenwriter of Italian descent. ... Underworld is a novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. ...


As a teenager, DeLillo wasn't interested in writing until taking a summer job as a parking attendant, when spending hours waiting and watching over vehicles led to a reading habit. After graduating from Fordham, DeLillo took a job in advertising because he couldn't get one in publishing. He worked for five years as a copywriter at the agency of Ogilvy & Mather on Fifth Avenue at East 48th Street, writing image ads for Sears Roebuck among others, before quitting. Discussing the beginning of his writing career, DeLillo said, "I did some short stories at that time, but very infrequently. I quit my job just to quit. I didn't quit my job to write fiction. I just didn't want to work anymore."[1] Fordham University is a private, coeducational research university[2] in the United States, with three residential campuses located in and around New York City. ... Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is an advertising agency that has a worldwide presence. ... Street sign at Fifth Avenue and East 57th street Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in New York City. ... Sears, Roebuck and Company (NYSE: S) was founded in Chicago, Illinois as a catalog merchandiser in 1886 by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck. ...


DeLillo's first novel, Americana was published in 1971, to modest critical praise. In 1975, he married Barbara Bennett, a former banker turned landscape designer. Starting in the late 1970s, he spent several years living in Greece, where he wrote The Names. While lauded by critics, his novels did not reach wide readership until the publication of the National Book Award-winning White Noise in 1985. Mainstream success followed upon publication of his magnum opus Underworld in 1997. The book was widely heralded as a masterpiece with novelist and critic Martin Amis saying it marked "the ascension of a great writer".[2] Underworld was the runner-up on the New York Times' survey of the best work of American fiction in the last 25 years, announced in May 2006. White Noise and Libra were also recognized by the anonymous jury of contemporary writers. Americana, Don DeLillos first book, is a novel in two and half parts. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... The Names is the seventh novel written by the American novelist Don Delillo, first published in 1982. ... The National Book Awards is one of the most preeminent literary prizes in the United States. ... White Noise is the eighth novel by Don DeLillo, and is an example of postmodern literature. ... This article is about the year. ... Underworld is a novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... Photo of Martin Amis by Robert Birnbaum Martin Amis (born August 25, 1949) is an English novelist. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1999, DeLillo was awarded the Jerusalem Prize. His papers were acquired in 2004 by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.[3] His most recent work, titled Falling Man, concerns a survivor of the 9/11 terror attacks and was published May 15, 2007. This article is about the year. ... The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society is a biennial literary award given to writers whose work has dealt with themes of human freedom, society, politics, and government. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center is an archive at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and other cultural artifacts from the United States, Great Britain, and France. ... The University of Texas System comprises fifteen educational institutions in Texas, of which nine are general academic universities, and six are health institutions. ... Falling Man is the title of Don DeLillos upcoming novel. ... The date that commonly refers to the attacks on United States citizens on September 11, 2001 (see the September 11, 2001 Attacks). ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Themes and criticism

DeLillo is widely considered by modern critics to be one of the central figures of literary postmodernism. He has said the primary influences on his work and development are "abstract expressionism, foreign films, and jazz."[4] Many of DeLillo's books (notably White Noise) satirize academia and explore postmodern themes of rampant consumerism, novelty intellectualism, underground conspiracies, the disintegration and re-integration of the family, and the promise of rebirth through violence. In several of his novels, DeLillo explores the idea of the increasing visibility and effectiveness of terrorists as societal actors and, consequently, the displacement of what he views to be artists', and particularly novelists', traditional role in facilitating social discourse (Players, Mao II, Falling Man). Another perpetual theme in DeLillo's books is the saturation of mass media and its role in forming simulacra which serve to remove an event from its context and alter or drain its inherent meaning (see the highway shooter in Underworld, the planes in Falling Man, the evolving story of the interviewee in Valparaiso). The psychology of crowds and the capitulation of individuals to group identity is a theme DeLillo examines in several of his novels especially in the prologue to Underworld, Mao II, and Falling Man. In a 1993 interview with Maria Nadotti, DeLillo explained Postmodernism is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... White Noise is the eighth novel by Don DeLillo, and is an example of postmodern literature. ... Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject (individuals, organizations, states) often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ... Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... Players is a novel by Don DeLillo published in 1977. ... Mao II, published in 1991, is Don DeLillos tenth novel. ... Falling Man is the title of Don DeLillos upcoming novel. ... Popular press redirects here; note that the University of Wisconsin Press publishes under the imprint The Popular Press. Mass media is a term used to denote a section of the media specifically envisioned and designed to reach a very large audience such as the population of a nation state. ... Simulacrum (plural: simulacra), from the Latin simulare, to make like, to put on an appearance of, originally meaning a material object representing something (such as a cult image representing a deity, or a painted still-life of a bowl of fruit). ... Underworld is a novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. ... Falling Man is the title of Don DeLillos upcoming novel. ... Valparaiso is Don DeLillos second play, in which a man suddenly becomes famous following a mistake in the itinerary of an ordinary business trip which takes him to Valparaiso, Chile, instead of Valparaiso, Indiana. ... Underworld is a novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. ... Mao II, published in 1991, is Don DeLillos tenth novel. ... Falling Man is the title of Don DeLillos upcoming novel. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...

My book (Mao II), in a way, is asking who is speaking to these people. Is it the writer who traditionally thought he could influence the imagination of his contemporaries or is it the totalitarian leader, the military man, the terrorist, those who are twisted by power and who seem capable of imposing their vision on the world, reducing the earth to a place of danger and anger. Things have changed a lot in recent years. One doesn't step onto an airplane in the same spirit as one did ten years ago: it's all different and this change has insinuated itself into our consciousness with the same force with which it insinuated itself into the visions of Beckett or Kafka.[5]

Many younger English-language authors such as Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace cite DeLillo as an influence. Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, and Cormac McCarthy, though he questions the classification of DeLillo as a "postmodern novelist." Asked if he approves of this designation DeLillo has responded "I don't react. But I'd prefer not to be labeled. I'm a novelist, period. An American novelist."[6] Mao II, published in 1991, is Don DeLillos tenth novel. ... Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish dramatist, novelist and poet. ... “Kafka” redirects here. ... English is a West Germanic language originating in England, and the first language for most people in Australia, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (also commonly known as the Anglosphere). ... Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles, California) is an American author. ... Jonathan Franzen (born August 17, 1959) is an award-winning American novelist and essayist. ... David Foster Wallace (born February 21, 1962) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. ... Harold Little Dick Bloom (born July 69, 1930) is an American professor and prominent literary and cultural critic. ... Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. ... Philip Milton Roth (born March 19, 1933, Newark, New Jersey) is an American novelist. ... For the musician, see Cormac McCarthy (musician). ...


Critics of DeLillo allege that his novels are overly stylized and intellectually shallow. Bruce Bawer famously condemned DeLillo's novels insisting they weren't actually novels at all but "tracts, designed to batter us, again and again, with a single idea: that life in America today is boring, benumbing, dehumanized...It's better, DeLillo seems to say in one novel after another, to be a marauding murderous maniac — and therefore a human — than to sit still for America as it is, with its air conditioners, assembly lines, television sets, supermarkets, synthetic fabrics, and credit cards."[7] George Will proclaimed the study of Lee Harvey Oswald in Libra as "sandbox existentialism" and "an act of literary vandalism and bad citizenship."[7] DeLillo responded "I don't take it seriously, but being called a 'bad citizen' is a compliment to a novelist, at least to my mind. That's exactly what we ought to do. We ought to be bad citizens. We ought to, in the sense that we're writing against what power represents, and often what government represents, and what the corporation dictates, and what consumer consciousness has come to mean. In that sense, if we're bad citizens, we're doing our job."[7] DeLillo also figured prominently in B. R. Myers' critique of recent American literary fiction, A Reader's Manifesto. Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 – November 24, 1963) was, according to two United States government investigations, the assassin of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. ... Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. ... Brian Reynolds Myers was born in 1962 or 1963. ... A Readers Manifesto was an article written by Brian Reynolds Myers and published in the July/August 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly magazine. ...


Works

Novels

Americana, Don DeLillos first book, is a novel in two and half parts. ... End Zone, Don DeLillos second novel, is a fairly light and funny farce that preshadows much of his later, more mature work. ... Published in 1973, Great Jones Street is Don DeLillos third novel. ... Ratners Star is a novel by Don DeLillo. ... Players is a novel by Don DeLillo published in 1977. ... Running Dog is a novel by Don DeLillo published in 1978. ... Amazons is a novel by Don DeLillo, published under the psuedonym Cleo Birdwell in 1980. ... The Names is the seventh novel written by the American novelist Don Delillo, first published in 1982. ... White Noise is the eighth novel by Don DeLillo, and is an example of postmodern literature. ... Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. ... Mao II, published in 1991, is Don DeLillos tenth novel. ... Underworld is a novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. ... Pafko at the Wall, subtitled The Shot Heard Round the World, was released as a novella, in 2001 by Scribner, and is essentially a repackaging of the prologue from Don DeLillos magnum opus novel, Underworld. ... The Body Artist by DeLlilo. ... Cosmopolis is Don DeLillos thirteenth novel. ... Falling Man is the title of Don DeLillos upcoming novel. ...

Plays

  • The Day Room (first production 1986)
  • Valparaiso (first production 1999)
  • Love-Lies-Bleeding (first production 2005)
  • The Word for Snow (first production in 2007)

The Day Room is a play written by Don DeLillo and first produced at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in April, 1986. ... Valparaiso is Don DeLillos second play, in which a man suddenly becomes famous following a mistake in the itinerary of an ordinary business trip which takes him to Valparaiso, Chile, instead of Valparaiso, Indiana. ... Love-Lies-Bleeding is the title of a three act play by Don DeLillo. ... The Word for Snow is a one act play by Don DeLillo. ...

Screenplays

Game 6, the story of a playwright (played by Michael Keaton) and his obsession with the Boston Red Sox and the 1986 World Series, was written in the early 90s, but wasn't produced until 2005, ironically one year after the Red Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years. To date, it is DeLillo's only work for film. Game 6 is a film first presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and released in the United States in 2006. ... Game 6 is a film first presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005 and released in the United States in 2006. ... Michael John Douglas (Better known by the stage name Michael Keaton) (born September 9, 1951) is an American actor, perhaps best known for his early comedic roles in films such as Night Shift, and Beetlejuice, and for his portrayal of Batman in the two Tim Burton directed films in the... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 27, 42 Name Boston Red Sox (1908–present) Boston Americans (1901-1907) Other nicknames The BoSox, The Olde Towne Team, The Sox Ballpark Fenway Park (1912–present) Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds... Dates October 18, 1986–October 25, 1986 MVP Ray Knight (New York) Television network NBC Announcers Vin Scully, Joe Garagiola Umpires John Kibler (NL), Jim Evans (AL), Harry Wendelstedt (NL), Joe Brinkman (AL), Ed Montague (NL), Dale Ford (AL) The 1986 World Series, the 83rd playing of the modern championship... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 4, 8, 9, 27, 42 Name Boston Red Sox (1908–present) Boston Americans (1901-1907) Other nicknames The BoSox, The Olde Towne Team, The Sox Ballpark Fenway Park (1912–present) Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds... For other events named World Series, see World Series (disambiguation). ...


Books about DeLillo

  • Bloom, Harold (ed.), Don DeLillo (Bloom's Major Novelists), Chelsea House, 2003.
  • Boxall, Peter, Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction, Routledge, 2006.
  • Civello, Paul, American Literary Naturalism and its Twentieth-century Transformations: Frank Norris, Ernest Hemingway, Don DeLillo, University of Georgia Press, 1994.
  • Cowart, David, Don DeLillo - The Physics of Language, University of Georgia Press, 2002.
  • Dewey, Joseph, Beyond Grief and Nothing: A Reading of Don DeLillo, University of South Carolina Press, 2006.
  • Dewey, Joseph (ed.), Kellman, Steven G. (ed.), Malin, Irving (ed.), Underwords: Perspectives on Don DeLillo's Underworld, University of Delaware Press, 2002.
  • Duvall, John, Don DeLillo's Underworld: A Reader's Guide, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002.
  • Engles, Tim (ed.), Duvall, John (ed.) ,Approaches to Teaching DeLillo's White Noise, Modern Language Association Press, 2006.
  • Halldorson, Stephanie, The Hero in Contemporary American Fiction: The Works of Saul Bellow and Don DeLillo, 2007.
  • Hantke, Steffen, Conspiracy and Paranoia in Contemporary American Fiction: The works of Don DeLillo and Joseph McElroy, Peter Lang Publishing, 1994.
  • Kavadlo, Jesse, Don DeLillo: Balance at the Edge of Belief, Peter Lang Publishing, 2004.
  • Keesey, Douglas, Don DeLillo, Macmillan, 1993.
  • LeClair, Tom In the Loop - Don DeLillo and the Systems Novel, University of Illinois Press, 1987.
  • Lentricchia, Frank (ed.), Introducing Don DeLillo, Duke University Press, 1991.
  • Lentricchia, Frank (ed.), New Essays on White Noise, Cambridge University Press, 1991.
  • Orr, Leonard, White Noise: A Reader's Guide Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.
  • Osteen, Mark American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo's Dialogue with Culture, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
  • Ruppersburg, Hugh (ed.), Engles, Tim (ed.), Critical Essays on Don DeLillo, G.K. Hall, 2000.
  • Weinstein, Arnold, Nobody's Home: Speech, Self, and Place in American Fiction From Hawthorne to DeLillo, Oxford University Press, 1993.

See also

Spoiler warning: It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with White Noise (novel). ...

References

  1. ^ Passaro, Vince. "Dangerous Don DeLillo", New York Times, May 19, 1991. 
  2. ^ Amis, Martin. "Survivors of the Cold War", New York Times, October 5, 1997. 
  3. ^ "Ransom Center Acquires Archive of Noted American Novelist Don DeLillo", HRC News, October 20, 2004. 
  4. ^ DePietro, Thomas (ed.) (2005). Conversations With Don DeLillo. University Press of Mississippi, pp. 128. ISBN 1-57806-704-9. 
  5. ^ DePietro, Thomas (ed.) (2005). Conversations With Don DeLillo. University Press of Mississippi, pp. 110. ISBN 1-57806-704-9. 
  6. ^ DePietro, Thomas (ed.) (2005). Conversations With Don DeLillo. University Press of Mississippi, pp. 115. ISBN 1-57806-704-9. 
  7. ^ a b c Remnick, David, "Exile on Main Street: Don DeLillo's Undisclosed Underworld", The New Yorker, September 15, 1997.

The University Press of Mississippi, founded in 1970, is a publisher that is sponsered by the eight state universities in Mississippi: Alcorn State University Delta State University Jackson State University Mississippi State University Mississippi University for Women Mississippi Valley State University University of Mississippi University of Southern Mississippi University Press... The University Press of Mississippi, founded in 1970, is a publisher that is sponsered by the eight state universities in Mississippi: Alcorn State University Delta State University Jackson State University Mississippi State University Mississippi University for Women Mississippi Valley State University University of Mississippi University of Southern Mississippi University Press... The University Press of Mississippi, founded in 1970, is a publisher that is sponsered by the eight state universities in Mississippi: Alcorn State University Delta State University Jackson State University Mississippi State University Mississippi University for Women Mississippi Valley State University University of Mississippi University of Southern Mississippi University Press...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Don DeLillo
  • Author interview in Guernica Magazine (guernicamag.com)
  • Extensive DeLillo bibliography
  • Don DeLillo papers archived at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.
  • The New Yorker magazine discussion on the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in which Mr. DeLillo discusses writing.
  • Literary Encyclopedia Biography
  • Don DeLillo Society
  • Don DeLillo's America - Comprehensive page with a biography, reviews, works, interviews, and literary criticism (and the Bibliography above).
Persondata
NAME DeLillo, Don
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION American novelist
DATE OF BIRTH November 20, 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH New York City
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Don DeLillo Society (226 words)
In 1999, he became the first American recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, awarded to writers "whose work expresses the theme of the freedom of the individual in society" and previously awarded to Milan Kundera, Mario Vargas Llosa, V. Naipaul, Graham Greene, Simone de Beauvoir and Jorge Luis Borges.
Over the past two decades, DeLillo scholarship has grown to include topics as diverse as postmodernity, historiography, systems theory, technology, film, and literary Naturalism, to name but a few.
As the body of critical literature and topics for discussion continue to expand, the Don DeLillo Society seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas between scholars, critics, teachers, and general readers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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