Don DeLillo Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 371 quotes)
It is the form that allows a writer the greatest opportunity to explore human experience...For that reason, reading a novel is potentially a significant act. Because there are so many varieties of human experience, so many kinds of interaction between humans, and so many ways of creating patterns in the novel that can’t be created in a short story, a play, a poem or a movie. The novel, simply, offers more opportunities for a reader to understand the world better, including the world of artistic creation. That sounds pretty grand, but I think it’s true.
Why shouldn't the death of a person you love bring you into lurid ruin? You don't know how to love the one you love until they disappear abruptly. Then you understand how thinly distanced from their suffering, how sparing of self you often were, only rarely unguarded of heart, working your networks of give-and-take.
this was the man who would not submit to her need for probing intimacy, overintimacy, the urge to ask, examine, delve, draw things out, trade secrets, tell everything. it was a need that had the body in it, hands, feet, genitals, scummy odors, clotted dirt, even if it was all talk or sleepy murmur. she wanted to absorb everything, childlike, the dust of stray sensation, whatever she could breathe in from other people's pores. she used to think she was other people. other people have truer lives.
Sitting for a picture is morbid business. A portrait does?t begin to mean anything until the subject is dead. This is the whole point. W?re doing this to create a kind of sentimental past for people in decades to come. I?s their past, their history w?re inventing here. And i?s not how I look now that matters. I?s how ?ll look in twenty-five years as clothing and faces change, as photographs change. The deeper I pass into death, the more powerful my picture becomes. Is?t this why picture-taking is so ceremonial? I?s like a wake. And ?m the actor made up for the laying-out.
They had to evacuate the grade school on Tuesday. Kids were getting headaches and eye irritations, tasting metal in their mouths. A teacher rolled on the floor and spoke foreign languages. No one knew what was wrong. Investigators said it could be the ventilating system, the paint or varnish, the foam insulation, the electrical insulation, the cafeteria food, the rays emitted by microcomputers, the asbestos fireproofing, the adhesive on shipping containers, the fumes from the chlorinated pool, or perhaps something deeper, finer-grained, more closely woven into the basic state of things.
I believe, Jack, there are two kinds of people in the world. Killers and diers. Most of us are diers. We don't have the dispoisiton, the rage or whatever it takes to be a killer. We le death happen. We lie down and die. But think what it's like to be a killer. Think how exciting it is, in theory, to kill a person in direct confrontation. If he dies, you cannot. To kill him is to gain life-credit. The more people you kill, the more credit you store up. It explains any number of massacres, wars, executions. ?] In theory, violence is a form of rebirth. The dier passively succumbs. The killer lives on. What a marvelous equation. - Murray (WN 290)
?] being called a 'bad citizen' is a compliment to a novelist, at least to my mind. That's exactly what we ought to do. We ought to be bad citizens. We ought to, in the sense that we're writing against what power represents, and often what government represents, and what the corporation dictates, and what consumer consciousness has come to mean. In that sense, if we're bad citizens, we're doing our job.
Maybe what has to happen is that the individual must allow himself to be swept along, must find himself in the stream of no-choice, the single direction. This is what makes things inevitable. You use the restrictions and penalties they invent to make yourself stronger. History means to merge. The purpose of history is to climb out of your own skin. (101)