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Don DeLillo quotes (showing 1-30 of 871)

“Stories are consoling, fiction is one of the consolation prizes for having lived in the world.”
Don DeLillo, Conversations with Don Delillo
“How I would enjoy being told the novel is dead. How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception. You are the ghoul of literature.”
Don DeLillo, The Names
“How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn't they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?”
Don DeLillo
tags: fear
“The future belongs to crowds.”
Don DeLillo, Mao II
“No sense of the irony of human experience, that we are the highest form of life on earth, and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“I've got death inside me. It's just a question of whether or not I can outlive it.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.”
Don DeLillo, Underworld
“If you reveal everything, bare every feeling, ask for understanding, you lose something crucial to your sense of yourself. You need to know things that others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.”
Don DeLillo, Point Omega
“There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?”
Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis
“The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“Writing is a concentrated form of thinking...a young writer sees that with words he can place himself more clearly into the world. Words on a page, that's all it takes to help him separate himself from the forces around him, streets and people and pressures and feelings. He learns to think about these things, to ride his own sentences into new perceptions.”
Don DeLillo
“He wanted to fuck her loudly on a hard bed with rain beating on the windows.”
Don DeLillo, Mao II
“It was important for him to believe that he'd spent his life among people who kept missing the point.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“Even when you self-destruct, you want to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others.”
Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis
“The power of the dead is that we think they see us all the time. The dead have a presence. Is there a level of energy composed solely of the dead? They are also in the ground, of course, asleep and crumbling. Perhaps we are what they dream.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots. ”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“The family is the cradle of the world’s misinformation. There must be something in family life that generates factual error. Over-closeness, the noise and heat of being. Perhaps even something deeper like the need to survive. Murray says we are fragile creatures surrounded by a world of hostile facts. Facts threaten our happiness and security. The deeper we delve into things, the looser our structure may seem to become. The family process works towards sealing off the world. Small errors grow heads, fictions proliferate. I tell Murray that ignorance and confusion can’t possibly be the driving forces behind family solidarity. What an idea, what a subversion. He asks me why the strongest family units exist in the least developed societies. Not to know is a weapon of survival, he says. Magic and superstition become entrenched as the powerful orthodoxy of the clan. The family is strongest where objective reality is most likely to be misinterpreted. What a heartless theory, I say. But Murray insists it’s true.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“It is possible to be homesick for a place even when you are there.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“When I read obituaries I always note the age of the deceased. Automatically I relate this figure to my own age. Four years to go, I think. Nine more years. Two years and I'm dead. The power of numbers is never more evident than when we use them to speculate on the time of our dying.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.”
Don DeLillo
“Facts are lonely things”
Don DeLillo, Libra
“Talent is more erotic when it's wasted.”
Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis
“We drove 22 miles into the country around Farmington. There were meadows and apple orchards. White fences trailed through the rolling fields. Soon the sign started appearing. THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA. We counted five signs before we reached the site. There were 40 cars and a tour bus in the makeshift lot. We walked along a cowpath to the slightly elevated spot set aside for viewing and photographing. All the people had cameras; some had tripods, telephoto lenses, filter kits. A man in a booth sold postcards and slides -- pictures of the barn taken from the elevated spot. We stood near a grove of trees and watched the photographers. Murray maintained a prolonged silence, occasionally scrawling some notes in a little book.

"No one sees the barn," he said finally.

A long silence followed.

"Once you've seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn."

He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others.

We're not here to capture an image, we're here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies."

There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.

"Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We've agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism."

Another silence ensued.

"They are taking pictures of taking pictures," he said.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“Fear is unnatural. Lightning and thunder are unnatural. Pain, death, reality, these are all unnatural. We can't bear these things as they are. We know too much. So we resort to repression, compromise and disguise. This is how we survive the universe. This is the natural language of the species.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“That's why people take vacations. No to relax or find excitement or see new places. To escape the death that exists in routine things.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live.”
Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis
“What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.”
Don DeLillo, Don DeLillo's White Noise
“He thinks he's happy but it's just a nerve cell in his brain that's getting too much stimulation or too little stimulation.”
Don DeLillo, White Noise
“You need to know things the others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.”
Don DeLillo, Point Omega

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