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Baudrillard, DeLillo's " White Noise, " and the End of Heroic Narrative Author(s): Leonard Wilcox

Reviewed work(s):

Source: Modern day Literature, Volume. 32, Number 3 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 346-365 Released by: University of Wisconsin Press

Steady URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1208561.

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This content downloaded by the approved user via 192. 168. 52. seventy five on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18: 24: 43 PM All use controlled by JSTOR Terms and ConditionsBAUDRILLARD, DELILLO'S WHITE NOISE, AND THE END OF HEROIC NARRATIVE

Leonard Wilcox

From Americana, through Great Roberts Street, White Noise, and Libra, Don DeLillo's novels have already been concerned with the partnership between American identity and the mediascapes. In the event the two before works were preoccupied with all the way in which the American fantasy is altered by the press, the later on two data a world that is mediated simply by and constituted in the technologico-semiotic regime. In White Noise DeLillo's protagonist Plug Gladney confronts a new order in which a lot more increasingly occupied a world of simulacra, exactly where images and electronic illustrations replace immediate experience. In Libra, Shelter Oswald is known as a product of this order; a figure devoted to media self- fashioning, this individual constructs his life- as well as his death- from the proliferation of charismatic images and spectacles of a postmodern culture. 1

White Noise and Libra specifically, with their interest in elec- tronic mediation and representation, present a view of life in contempo- rary America that is uncannily just like that depicted by Blue jean Baudrillard. They indicate which the transformations of contemporary society that Baudrillard describes in his assumptive writings upon infor- mation and media have also held the mind and shaped the novels of Don DeLillo. For White-noise especially - because it many specifi- cally explores the realm info and mediascape - Baudrillard's works offer an interesting, useful, and even essential perspective. The informational community Baudrillard delineates bears a striking similarity to the world of White-noise: one characterized by the break of the true and the stream of signifiers emanating coming from an infor- mation society, by a " loss of the real" in a black hole of ruse and the perform and exchange of indicators. In this world common to both Baudrillard and DeLillo, images, signs, and codes engulf goal I wish to say thanks to David C. Harlan pertaining to his useful comments on this essay. 'For a discussion of Libra and DeLillo's mediascapes, see Lentricchia 10-29. Modern-day Literature XXXII, 3 0010-7484/91/0003-0346 $1. 50/0? 1991 by the Board of Regents with the University of Wisconsin System This content downloaded by the authorized user coming from 192. 168. 52. 75 on Tue, 27 Nov 2012 18: 24: 43 PM Every use controlled by JSTOR Conditions and Conditionsreality; signs be a little more real than reality and stand in for the world that they erase. Baudrillard's notion that the radical semiurgy results in the collapse of difference, company structures, and finalities (the " fixities" by which...

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