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The cultural binder

The silence
ROMAN: DeLillo stages a kind of general, paranoid state, a suspicion that has global reach.

Don DeLillo's novels are still shrinking in scope. It is a long way from Underworld of over eight hundred pages to this autumn's book The silence on just under 126 pages. In an interview, the author says that the format is due to age, ie he works later than before.

But he also writes for theater, and while reading the novel, one can think scenically: There is a lot of dialogue, and the text also alternates between two chamber plays that eventually merge into one setting. In the first, the couple Jim and Tessa are on the plane from Paris to New York, where they will watch the TV broadcast of the Super Bowl with the couple Diane and Max, and where the physics teacher Martin is also present. The plane has a system failure and an emergency landing at the airport. At the same time, with Max and Diane in New York, the TV picture disappears, and all screens disappear. . .

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Kurt Sweeney
Literary critic.

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