Sunday, March 15, 2009


One of my favorite books is Don DeLillo's, White Noise which came out in 1985. Similar to White Noise, Players (from 1977) focuses on the isolation brought on by consumerism, television and mass culture: DeLillo's holy trinity.

DeLillo's characters often try to substantiate their existence by taking on serious vocations which we might find farcical. In White Noise, a woman gives classes in posture. In Players, the farcical becomes, unfortunately, very real for us. One of the characters, Pammy Wynant, works for a company that specializes in grief counselling. I don't know if DeLillo knew how spot-on he'd be with this stab at the future.

A chill went down my spine when I read how Pammy Wynant's grief counselling firm is located in the World Trade Center. The following passage nearly knocked me out of my chair:

"To Pammy, the towers didn't seem was her original view that the World Trade Center was an unlikely headquarters for an outfit such as this. But she changed her mind as time passed. Where else would you stack all this grief? Somebody anticipated that people would one day crave the means to codify their emotions..."

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