Point Omega has ratings and reviews. David said: Yes, for sure, in this slender little volume (especially in the first half), you’ll find Don D. Point Omega: A Novel [Don DeLillo] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A brief, unnerving, and exceptionally hard-hitting novel about time. Don DeLillo’s spectacular career seemed to have reached some kind of omega zone almost 20 years ago. After the red-hot streak of “The.

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Point Omega is very much about lateness: It is also something of an object lesson poinh the methods of late-phase literature in general, where the high-gloss productions delilpo the imagination in full spate give way to a sparser, stonier art of suggestion and juxtaposition.

The idea is to shift some of the work from maker to consumer: The Iraq war, he ruefully recalls assuring them, would be a “Haiku” war; a “war in three lines”.

Point Omega – Wikipedia

The film-maker, Jim Finley, wants to film Elster talking about his two years at the Pentagon, but Elster is resisting. For now, he is more in the mood to sit and reflect on grand subjects such as time, extinction and the attainment of what Teilhard de Chardin called the Omega Point: The desert landscape, beautifully evoked, is conducive to such thoughts.

The set-up seems to promise a Bellovian portrait of the hyper-educated theoretician sullied by his brush with power. And for a while Elster does come on a bit like one of Bellow’s brilliant, unpleasant thinkers, spinning out skeins of philosophy from, say, the sensation of biting the dead skin off his thumb, or talking cleverly about such things as the many meanings of the word “rendition”.

But whereas Bellow had distinct affinities with these aggrieved, arrogant, labyrinthine souls, DeLillo seems temperamentally a million miles away from the type, and his impersonation is as interesting for what it omits as what it includes.

Point Omega by Don DeLillo

There are none of the set-piece reminiscences of Pentagon war councils that you might expect and that Bellow would have revelled inand no sustained grappling with the convolutions of thought and opint that led Elster and his real-life counterparts dellilo pimp their high-octane brains to the nastiest regime in American history.


In keeping with the new aesthetic of incompletion, these are pieces of Elster’s past that you have to imagine largely for yourself.

But there are other ways of understanding a character than overt disclosure, and what DeLillo offers in its place provides its own kind of illumination. The first, in two sections that bracket omeba book, is that hour video installation of Psychowhich an unnamed man is watching obsessively in a New York gallery, riveted by its glacially slowed-down horror — “Janet Leigh in the detailed process of not knowing what is about to happen to her”.

DeLillo is always great on the subject of film the digressions on cinema are among the best passages in The Namesdeli,lo are the reflections on the Zapruder footage in Underworld. His prose, with its stylised dialogue and minute attentiveness to effects of light, often seems to aspire to the condition of cinema, with the coolly jazzed cadences providing the score.

These short sections of Point Omegawhere the watcher meticulously observes his own and other people’s reactions to the abstracted violence on the screen, are as sharp in their own right as you would expect. But they also — such is the appealing simplicity of the book’s structure — send a clarifying reverberation directly across the Elster scenes, setting the terms by which his words and evasions on the Iraq fiasco are to be understood, and giving a lethally ironic context to xelillo ruminations on archaeological time and impending annihilation.

It sounds, perhaps, a bit obvious as a juxtaposition — Shock and Awe reprised through Psycho — but the handling is subtle and deft, and it works powerfully.

Complementing this conceptual framing is a more emotional counterpoint involving Elster’s daughter, Jessie, who pooint up at the desert retreat midway dellilo Finley’s visit.


A quiet young woman, pleasant enough, with her own adroitly sketched quirky intelligence, but also with something distinctly out of whack about her, she is a fascinating study in absence, withdrawal, disconnection; her reticence the imprint of some implied psychic violence. Finley becomes increasingly attracted to her, watching her with the same uneasy intentness as the unnamed man watching Janet Leigh in Psycho: I found it disturbing to watch her, knowing that she didn’t feel watched.

Point Omega by Don DeLillo: review

We learn of a mother as overbearing as the father, a stalker boyfriend. And then, one day, she goes missing; simply disappears into the desert.

Briefly the novel becomes a thriller, with search parties, helicopters, a knife found in a cave. But the real quarry here isn’t the solution to the mystery so much as the anguish pmega anxiety it arouses; feelings that, again, circulate back into the book’s larger political themes. Elster, it has to be said, closes down as a character after the girl’s disappearance, becoming just a helpless old man which may be true to life but isn’t very interesting.

But by some odd alchemy of transference, the episode succeeds in giving his dark, unshouldered responsibilities, his role in the endgame of American empire, an unsettling emotional reality. The mystery itself is left hanging, but certain hints in the text, along with an elegant manipulation of the time-frame, permit a satisfying, even touching ending though not a comforting one.

It requires careful reading, but as with the man in the gallery, and as with every other aspect of this finely austere novel, the harder you look, the more you see.

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DeLillo’s Hour Psycho: Point Omega by Don DeLillo | Quarterly Conversation

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