Don DeLillo
The Physics of Language

David Cowart
Revised Edition

A close examination of the writer's career-long exploration of language—now revised and updated


"Cowart has made a career of offering incisive, elegant, and revelatory interpretations of contemporary literature. . . . Individually, the readings here open up the novels in new and valuable ways. Taken together, they position DeLillo in an adversarial relationship with the postmodern, resisting and trying to transcend the depthlessness usually associated with it. Finally, they serve as models of learned, careful, imaginative literary analysis. This book takes an important place in the growing field of DeLillo studies."
Review of Contemporary Fiction

"Cowart writes with the confidence of a scholar and the energy of an interested reader while presenting a detailed, well-informed guide through the labyrinth of an intriguing and important contemporary writer."
—Robert Kiely

More / Hide

Don DeLillo, author of twelve novels and winner of the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the William Dean Howells Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize, has begun to rival Thomas Pynchon as the definitive postmodern novelist. Always thought-provoking and occasionally controversial, DeLillo has become the voice of the bimillennial moment.

Charting DeLillo's emergence as a contemporary novelist of major stature, David Cowart discusses each of DeLillo's twelve novels, including his most recent work, The Body Artist (2001). Rejecting the idea that DeLillo lacks affinities across the cultural spectrum, Cowart argues that DeLillo's work invites comparison with that of wide range of antecedents, including Dunbar, Whitman, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Freud, Lacan, Derrida, Hemingway, Joyce, Rilke, and Eliot. At the same time, Cowart explores the ways in which DeLillo's art anticipates, parallels, and contests ideas that have become the common currency of poststructuralist theory. The major site of DeLillo's engagement with postmodernism, Cowart argues, is language, which DeLillo represents as more mysterious--numinous even--than current theory allows. For DeLillo, language remains what Cowart calls "the ground of all making."

Don DeLillo: The Physics of Language is a provocative investigation of the most compelling issues of contemporary fiction.

Page count: 288 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $29.95

buy button
View Shopping Cart

List price: $24.95

Check ebook availability

David Cowart is Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities at the University of South Carolina. He has published several books of twentieth-century literary criticism, including Literary Symbiosis: The Reconfigured Text in Twentieth-Century Writing (Georgia) and Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Allusion.