delillo II

This review of Delillo's Americana. One of my favorite novels is so well written, it's almost as good as the book.:

5.0 out of 5 stars The time, the age, the epoch, the season, the culrue, and the genius at full bloom at the outset, March 13, 2007
This review is from: Americana (Paperback)
No need to write the great American Novel.
It has already been written.
This is it. Vonnegut
in his fiction wrote that all you
need to know how to live is in the Brother's
Karamazov, but it's not enough anymore. If you live
in America, this is the supplement. In the negative sense.
One almost should enjoy this novel one sentence at a time.
Each one is genius. I also like the way Delillo micromanages words,
and sentences. The page is extremely claustrophobic, but it is an extremely cozy nook. The vividness with which this novel comes alive is perhaps its triumph. Delillo has described the journey of David Bell so well, that one can live in it vicariously, and doesn't have to make it themselves. I do not want to make that cross country sojourn anymore to writhe the experience out of Americana, get some vital juice out of being an American. He describes the currents and undercurrents very well.

The heart of the book is, I believe, on page 130.

...Something else was left over for the rest of us, or some of the rest of us, and it was the dream of the good life, innocent enough, simple enough on the surface, beginning for me as soon as I could read and continuing through the era of the early astronauts, the red carpet welcome on the aircraft carrier as the band played on. It encompassed all those things that people are said to want, materials and objects and the shadows they cast, and yet the dream had its complexities, its edges of illusion and self-deception, an implication of serio-comic death. To achieve an existence totally symbolic is less simple than mining the buried metals of other countries or sending the pilots of your squadron to hang their bombs over some illiterate village." [...]

I think this is what Americans are striving to ultimately do, (speaking of the general culture) and this is of course, as Delillo points out in the novel is not only destructive but impossible.

He also talks truth about the role of statistics in the national consciousness. Everyone, will, or should find a foible of Americana that they can appropriate as knowledge, something to call their own form now `till death.

One can get distracted, but the entire message for me is this: There is nothing in the American culture worth having. On the fringes, or in the mainstream. Pick your poison. A book dedicated to this is monumental. This really is, I think, the great American Novel, which is as fertile today as it was in 1971.

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