Delillo's White Noise

Overview

Don DeLillo's satiric novel White Noise, prophetic in 1985 about American society's rampant consumerism, information overload, overreliance on the media, and environmental problems, may seem to today's students simply a description of their lived reality. The challenge for teachers, then, is to help them appreciate both the postmodern qualities of the novel and its social critique.

This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching ...
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Overview

Don DeLillo's satiric novel White Noise, prophetic in 1985 about American society's rampant consumerism, information overload, overreliance on the media, and environmental problems, may seem to today's students simply a description of their lived reality. The challenge for teachers, then, is to help them appreciate both the postmodern qualities of the novel and its social critique.

This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," suggests readings and resources for both instructor and students of White Noise. The second part, "Approaches," contains eighteen essays that establish cultural, technological, and theoretical contexts (e.g., whiteness studies); place the novel in different survey courses (e.g., one that explores the theme of American materialism); compare it with other novels by DeLillo (e.g., Mao II); and give examples of classroom techniques and strategies in teaching it (e.g., the use of disaster films).
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What People Are Saying

Douglas Keesey
"This collection . . . will be of great value to instructors of White Noise. The essays in the volume are lively, accessible, opinionated (in a good sense), and informative."--(Douglas Keesey, California Polytechnic State University)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873529198
  • Publisher: Modern Language Association of America
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Series: Approaches to Teaching World Literature
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 235
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Materials
Pt. 2 Approaches
White noise and American cultural studies 19
"Hijacked jet crashes into the White House" : teaching White noise after September 11 27
No one sees the camps : Hitler and humor in White noise 39
An ecocritical approach to teaching White noise 50
Connecting White noise to critical whiteness studies 63
Technology, rationality, modernity : an approach to White noise 73
White noise as wake-up call : teaching DeLillo as media skeptic 84
White noise and the Web 94
White noise and the American novel 103
White noise, postmodernism, and postmodernity 116
White noise, materialism, and the American literature survey 126
Plot summary : motives and narrative mechanics in Underworld and White noise 135
Inventing hope : the question of belief in White noise and Mao II 144
Loyalty to reality : White noise, Great Jones Street, and The names 158
A Burkeian reading of White noise 169
Homicidal men and full-figured women : gender in White noise 180
"The natural language of the culture'' : exploring commodities through White noise 192
White noise as disaster movie 204
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