Changing Cosmopolis


Some interesting stratospheric thinking on The Age of Terror from author Don DeLillo is to be found here in the Los Angeles Times.

"'Terror,' the author says in a low monotone, 'is now the world narrative, unquestionably. When those two buildings were struck, and when they collapsed, it was, in effect, an extraordinary blow to consciousness, and it changed everything.'"

In his comments at large, I think DeLillo might be slightly overstating the, er, transformation of modern existence. Though there's a definite truth to what he's saying, it may be more literary than practical. That is, we feel the way he describes in our reflective moments, in our great attempts to make sense of the world, whether through literature or through late-night wine-soaked conversation; meanwhile, the actual narrative of our personal lives remains as unique and individually-driven as ever.

But maybe that goes without saying.

When DeLillo mentions the air in the '80s being filled with the threat of violence, I couldn't help but be reminded, perhaps unfairly, of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, who used his own neurotic personal history to come to the conclusion that all human experience is based first and foremost on a philosophy of humiliation (something he states in one of the many volumes of his autobiography).