Delillo’s writing is hard for me to get my head around. like, i dont know what precisely im making out of it, but i do know im enjoying myself a great deal. Underworld is looming in the back of my mind along with all the other tantalizing USen contemporary pomo bricks, namely Infinite Jest, The Instructions, Against the Day, and William Gaddis. They are such tempting monsters and i want to get through them someday. eventually. massive length, be it pages or running time, is really fascinating to me. I like the way one text known for its marathon length will influence people’s notions of the rest of the author’s work. Folx who know about Seven Samurai‘s epic 3.5 hours fear than any given Kurosawa flick will be a bladder-buster. Likewise, when i told a relative i was digging through some novels by Delillo, they immediately imagined, because of Underworld, a pair of tomes of some 5,000 pages each. in actuality both Mao II and Libra are quite lean.
another thing im aware of with these novels: im starting to forget them already. this is an observation confirmed by other folx in the online communities in which i lurk. Bill Gray and company in Mao II is already slipping away, whereas i read Michael Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay last summer and those characters are vividly and fondly remembered. this forget-ability is not necessarily a complaint. Libra is definitely eliding certain narrative pleasures (such as stable individuals with realistic psychology) as part of a really careful consideration of history, our reaction to it, and the processes of interpretation.