Two notes: A brief history of Don DeLillo’s career
, largely culled from the few, previous interviews he’s given, applied to recent events.
Long before the World Trade Center attacks, DeLillo understood the profound disconnect between reality and spectacle made possible by modern media. ‘For most people there are only two places in the world. Where they live and their TV set,’ one character notes. Of jaded viewers’ appetites, he writes, ‘Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, need them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else.’ Indeed.
And, a letter to the Times with regard to Ishmael
A feature of Lower Manhattan today that might not surprise Ishmael is the shuttered offices of many once-thriving dot-coms. The whaling industry that he celebrated was the Internet industry of its day: a global American success story that produced huge fortunes but often left human suffering in its wake.