Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Don DeLillo

Don DeLillo is the author of fifteen novels, including Falling Man, Libra and White Noise, and three plays. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Jerusalem Prize. In 2006, Underworld was named one of the three best novels of the last twenty-five years by The New York Times Book Review, and in 2000 it won the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the most distinguished work of fiction of the past five years. From his Q & A with The Barnes & Noble Review about his new novel, Point Omega:

The Barnes & Noble Review: The frame narrative of Point Omega describes two days at an actual video installation in the Museum of Modern Art, a showing of Douglas Gordon’s, 24 Hour Psycho. Was this the immediate inspiration for the novel? Can you describe the video?

Don DeLillo: In the summer of 2006 I walked into a gallery on the sixth floor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The room was as described in the novel, dark and chill, with a free-standing screen, no chairs or benches, and a film in progress -- extremely slow-going progress. This was a video work by Douglas Gordon titled 24 Hour Psycho, the famous Hitchcock movie being run at two frames per second instead of the customary twenty-four. No soundtrack, very few visitors to the gallery, most of them remaining only minutes. The video seemed to me a kind of meditation on such subjects as time and motion, what we see, how we see, what we miss seeing under normal circumstances. I returned the next day and then again a few days later, staying a little longer each time and beginning to realize by the third or fourth visit that a piece of fiction might spring from this experience.

In the museum there were other rooms beyond the 24 Hour Psycho installation, showing other videoworks. In the novel there is only Psycho.

BNR: What was your own experience of the installation? Is it mainly about altering the viewer’s sense of time and space?

Don DeLillo: I don’t...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue