"Gray and Waiting:" telepathy and terror in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man and Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977

Haynes, Douglas (2017) "Gray and Waiting:" telepathy and terror in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man and Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977. In: Stubbs, Tara and Haynes, Doug (eds.) Navigating the transnational in modern American literature and culture. Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature . Routledge, New York, pp. 122-143. ISBN 9781138903890

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the ways in which the past might be brought back, productively and otherwise, and ways that such contacts may occur sideways, across geographical and cultural boundaries, too. If our attempts to deal with incomprehensible and highly charged experience are often understood as "traumatic", this chapter argues for a very different mode of connection with history and catastrophe. It considers "telepathy", literally, the transmission of far-off feelings-as a mode of understanding. DeLillo exemplifies the telepathic approach in both his 9/11 fictions: Falling Man and the earlier short story "Baader-Meinhof". Gray and waiting, Richter's pictures "want" something, and it is from this desire that a politics might be formulated. The chapter also shows how DeLillo opens these channels for us. DeLillo takes from Richter the gray-eyed exchange, fumbling in the difficult history of post-war Germany for a politics with more utility than the apocalyptic exchange of "organic shrapnel" the 9/11 era seems condemned to repeat endlessly.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Literary criticism
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > English
Subjects: N Fine Arts > ND Painting > ND1130 General works
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0360 Prose
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0700 Individual authors > PS3600 2001-
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Depositing User: Douglas Haynes
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 12:10
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 15:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56719
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