Don DeLillo, White Noise

Martyn Colebrook (University of Hull)
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White Noise

was published in 1984 and won the American Book Award in the same year. Its early working title,

The American Book of the Dead

, highlights the centrality of death in the narrative and the prominence of spiritual or sacred processes that must be undertaken to ensure safe passage into the afterlife. Don DeLillo’s principal exploration is that of mortality and loneliness, as well as the foreboding threat of death that seems to pervade the lives of the two protagonists, Jack and Babette Gladney. However, the published title,

White Noise

, indicates that the novel will combine this thematic interrogation with a commentary on the consumerism and “dull and unlocatable roar” that exists on the edge of our visual mass media, the main disseminator of information in DeLillo’s…

3208 words

Citation: Colebrook, Martyn. "White Noise". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 May 2006 [, accessed 17 April 2024.]

12024 White Noise 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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