Understanding Don Delillo

Understanding Don Delillo

by Henry Veggian
Understanding Don Delillo

Understanding Don Delillo

by Henry Veggian

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Overview

Henry Veggian introduces readers to one of the most influential American writers of the last half- century. Winner of the National Book Award, American Book Award, and the first Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, Don DeLillo is the author of short stories, screenplays, and fifteen novels, including his breakthrough work White Noise (1985) and Pulitzer Prize finalists Mao II (1992) and Underworld (1998).

Veggian traces the evolution of DeLillo's work through the three phases of his career as a fiction writer, from the experimental early novels, through the critically acclaimed works of the mid-1980s and 1990s, into the smaller but newly innovative novels of the last decade. He guides readers to DeLillo's principal concerns—the tension between biography and anonymity, the blurred boundary between fiction and historical narrative, and the importance of literary authorship in opposition to various structures of power—and traces the evolution of his changing narrative techniques.

Beginning with a brief biography, an introduction to reading strategies, and a survey of the major concepts and questions concerning DeLillo's work, Veggian proceeds chronologically through his major novels. His discussion summarizes complicated plots, reflects critical responses to the author's work, and explains the literary tools used to fashion his characters, narrators, and events. In the concluding chapter Veggian engages notable examples of DeLillo's other modes, particularly the short stories that reveal important insights into his "modular" working method as well as the evolution of his novels.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611174458
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/10/2014
Series: Understanding Contemporary American Literature
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 168
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Henry Veggian is a lecturer of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He edits for boundary 2 and Rodopi Editions.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1 Understanding Don DeLillo 1

Chapter 2 Jargon and Genre: Americana, End Zone, and Great Jones Street 26

Chapter 3 Opacity and Transparency: White Noise and Mao II 54

Chapter 4 Artists and Prophets: The Body Artist, Cosmopolis, and Falling Man 77

Chapter 5 With, to, and against the Novel: The Short Stories 114

Notes 127

Bibliography 133

Index 143

What People are Saying About This

Choice - J. Bishoff

An outstanding brief introduction to the fiction of American novelist Don DeLillo. Veggian presents insightful, concise discussions of eight of DeLillo's major novels [his] readings are rigorous and thoughtful, and he is particularly excellent in his discussions of the novels White Noise and Mao II.

Joseph Dewey

Deftly, confidently, Henry Veggian offers a highly readable theoretical and thematic narrative through the notoriously intimidating works of America's finest novelist of the fin-de-millennium. Informed by but not compelled by the critical commentary already on DeLillo, Veggian offers an engaging new way into DeLillo's cultural vision and into the evolution of his formal experimentations, especially the dense texts of the post- 9-11 work and the short fiction. A significant introduction to DeLillo's fiction.

Jonathan Arac

With learning, imagination, and an attractive prose style, Henry Veggian opens an informative and accessible path into the world of Don DeLillo. Veggian's alert intelligence meets the challenge posed by DeLillo's important, fascinating, but difficult books. A major novelist calls forth a strong performance by a new critical voice.

David Cowart

Henry Veggian's study merits a place on every shelf devoted to first-rate literary criticism. A remarkable combination of succinctness and depth, it accounts comprehensively for the DeLillo chapter in the larger book of American literature. Veggian offers perspicacious readings of individual fictions without losing sight of the bigger picture: the shape of a literary career of immense importance to contemporary letters.

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