Thursday, March 04, 2010

Almanac

“Even if I could see the need for absolute authority, my work would draw me away. The experience of my own consciousness tells me how autocracy fails, how total control wrecks the spirit, how my characters deny my efforts to own them completely, how I need internal dissent, self-argument, how the world squashes me the minute I think it's mine.”

He shook out a match and held it.

“Do you know why I believe in the novel? It's a democratic shout. Anybody can write a great novel, one great novel, almost any amateur off the street. I believe this, George. Some nameless drudge, some desperado with barely a nurtured dream can sit down and find his voice and luck out and do it. Something so angelic it makes your jaw hang open. The spray of talent, the spray of ideas. One thing unlike another, one voice unlike the next. Ambiguities, contradictions, whispers, hints. And this is what you want to destroy.”

He found he was angry, unexpectedly.

“And when the novelist loses his talent, he dies democratically, there it is for everyone to see, wide open to the world, the shitpile of hopeless prose.”


Don DeLillo, Mao II (A)

2 comments:

Yahmdallah said...

Gad, I can't even get through 5 short paragraphs of DeLillo's prose. To quote my favorite line from the original "Bedazzled": It fills me with inertia.

Whisky Prajer said...

DDeL isn't to everyone's taste, to be sure. I do like this bit, though, for reasons I'll get into later.