Hybrid: How to Read DeLillo | The Collapsar

Originally published on 15 August 2016 at The Collapsar, with thanks to editor Nathan Knapp!  To jump to the story, click here.

I don’t know what genre this piece is.  When I submitted it, I said as much.  It’s part memoir, part book review, part fiction, and I don’t know what else. When I workshopped it with great readers over at Zoetrope, responses were uniformly enthusiastic, yet puzzled.  (By the way, if you’re writing and needing workshop responses — get over to Zoetrope and play.  It was relaunched June 2016 and the readers are great. You have to commit to read stories yourself, so it’s a square deal.)

I am so glad that this story found its home at The Collapsar.

Strange as this story may be, I hope one thing is clear: I love Don DeLillo’s writing, a lot. I love reading him. His voice is so unique. His most recent novel, Zero K, put me in such a state of suspension myself as I read it, that I found myself wanting to try my hand at some DeLillo mimetics.  I like his narrative voice, how it kind of floats just over my shoulder in some middle ground between first and third person. I love his sentences, so many of which hold up to the most exacting tonal analysis. He’s positively lapidary. His syntax is like no other.

BTW I really do own and use Fiestaware, every day, and it was a gift from an aunt, who did save her own life in just the manner described.

I hope that you enjoy my homage to the great Don DeLillo.  It was fun to write, and my appreciation for his work grew as tried my pale hand at flattery.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and please, while you’re over at The Collapsar have a look around and be amazed by what Nathan and the team there are putting out in the world.  It’s a privilege to publish with them.

Here is a link to: “How to Read DeLillo.”


And if you haven’t read Zero K yet, here’s another essential link! I got my copy of Zero K last spring—a signed copy!—and I don’t know what kind of paper-stock they used for the dust jacket but it’s very tactile, very luxe.


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