PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

So Dismissive

with one comment

Writes Jessa Crispin of Don DeLillo’s FALLING MAN: “[This is] another book they’ll have to put me in a Clockwork Orange chair to get me to read.” She quotes The Guardian’s Digested Read—a feature that pares notable books down as a form of parody—for support in her avoidance and dismissal:

“The child is a blessing.”

“What did I want?”

“Nobody talks like this. So why are we having this absurd conversation?”

“Because we’re in an important post 9/11 literary event.”

Criticizing Don DeLillo with “nobody talks like this” is moronic. Dialogue like that—and the parody in no way matches his real stuff—is essential to Don DeLillo’s aesthetic, and its goal isn’t necessarily a depiction of real conversation. If the aesthetic doesn’t click with you, fine. If a book’s dialogue is plain old poor, also fine.

MACRO. Criticize the aesthetic, with the dialogue as one aspect of that, and explain why it doesn’t work. Don’t make that same old complaint: people don’t really talk like this! Do people really talk like Shakespeare’s D.P.? No. Do people really talk like characters in a Quentin Tarantino film, and does it matter? No to both.

(I realize that probably isn’t her whole argument against reading FALLING MAN, but man, that entry—with its endorsement of the cute, admittedly funny Guardian parody—sure makes it seem that way.)

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Written by patiomensch

June 1, 2007 at 2:28 am

Posted in Books, Bookslut, Don DeLillo

One Response

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  1. I do not know anything about that Crispin chick, nor have I read the DeLillo book.

    I do know a thing or two about dialogue and what Tarantino does is brilliant and difficult.

    My main reason for commenting was the blurb line under your description. Am I important now?

    ***sighing***

    Erin O'Brien

    June 1, 2007 at 3:55 am


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