"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."
"Provides an evenhanded treatment of the ambiguous dialect of linguistic surface and depth in three clusters of DeLillo novels."
"For Cowart, DeLillo is currently displacing Pynchon as the postmodern novelist of primary significance. Cowart's impressive study of DeLillo's thirteen novels focuses on language, specifically the 'linguistic turn' in contemporary critical theory and literary studies. Comparing DeLillo's postmodern stylistic derangements to the philosophical claims made by Benjamin, Lacan, Derrida, and company, Cowart is not arguing influence but rather developing parallels between the claims of these theorists and DeLillo's novelistic practices. However, Cowart's main thesis is that DeLillo resists postmodernism, albeit from within rather than without: while demonstrating that DeLillo's 'fictions paradoxically provide strong evidence that theory really is the codification of contemporary conditions of knowing,' the most engaging sections of this volume insist that 'to transcribe this social and psychological reality is not to endorse it.' "
"Richly demonstrates [that] DeLillo's language is also and at least an all-too-human sign system, inescapably part of the 'fallen wonder of the world.'"
"Cowart's readings of the novels are uniformly superb."
—MODERNISM / Modernity
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.
List price: $29.95
View Shopping Cart
List price: $24.95
Check ebook availability