or else why write?

John Pistelli reviews The Silence, the new novel(la) from Don DeLillo that is currently sitting in my Amazon account, waiting for a cryptographically authenticated exchange to unlock it and trigger the download over the radio waves to my iPad.¹ He didn’t love it (and from the early reviews, I’m…hesitant?), but I liked this bit in particular about how DeLillo saw all of this already.

The nowhere beyond consciousness and its devices has always has been DeLillo’s cheif interest. He didn’t have to wait for social media and the smartphone to comment on the transformation of the human by surveillance and control grids; he saw it already, long ago, not only in the shape of corporate power and government conspiracy, but in the everyday currency of the consumer culture. … With DeLillo as with an earlier Italian visionary, the way out is the way down: a passage out of the grid and into the ineffable numinous can be found in the technoculture as in language — especially in language. Or else why write?

¹ “What a pleasing interaction.”

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