Thursday, July 26, 2007

A lack of ambivalence

Worth reading, if only for the bit about Pynchon.
Guernica: In a number of your past books, your characters have also expressed ambivalent feelings about the idea of terrorism. In the opening of Players, you describe the “glamour of revolutionary violence, the secret longing it evokes in the most docile soul...” And in Mao II one of the characters says of terrorists, “It’s difficult when they kill and maim because you see them honestly now as the only possible heroes for our time... the way they live in the shadows, live willingly with death.” Did what happened on September 11th change your own thoughts about terrorism?

Don DeLillo: No. I tend to write through character consciousness, and different people in my books have different feelings about this matter. One of the characters in Falling Man, Martin, makes a greater attempt to understand the complaints against the narcissistic heart of the West. The character he argues with, Nina, does not disagree with this in theory, but when the attacks occur, something else occurs, which is a terrible outrage.

Guernica: Did you struggle with similar responses yourself, after the attacks?

Don DeLillo: No, I didn’t struggle. I knew I was totally opposed to what happened and to the reason for it.

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