For thirty years, since the publication of his first novel Americana Don DeLillo has lived in the skin of our times. He has found a voice for the forgotten souls who haunt the fringes of our culture and for its larger-than-life, real-life figures. His language is defiantly, radiantly American.
Now, to a new century, he has brought The Body Artist In this spare, seductive novel, he inhabits the muted world of Lauren Hartke, an artist whose work defies the limits of the body. Lauren is living on a lonely coast, in a rambling rented house, where she encounters a strange, ageless man, a man with uncanny knowledge of her own life. Together they begin a journey into the wilderness of time -- time, love, and human perception.
The Body Artist is a haunting, beautiful and profoundly moving novel from one of the finest writers of our time....Continua
DeLillo's first novel since Underworld, preceded in 1999 by Valparaiso, his second stageplay.
As if marking the distance from its predecessor, it is very, almost impossibly terse; to the point that I find it difficult to consider it a novel(la), and not because of its brevity.
Commentators variously describe it as "haiku-like", "a tightly constructed string quartet", in an attempt to capture its spareness.
But ultimately The Body Artist has nothing to do with poetry. Although DeLillo makes it do things novels don't do routinely. Much like Lauren Hartke, the protagonist, does with her body.
Which brings us to another feature of the book: a wealth of meta-narrative moments, with characters, dialogues and paragraphs working like the novel does as a whole. A fractal-like construction (see, I'm using figures of speech, too).
DeLillo's amazing ability for developing two, even three lines of thought simultaneously over several paragraphs, as though in counterpoint, is here stretched to book length.
Ultimately the novella is not so much about death, loss and mourning (which is what the reader gathers from most abstracts) as it is about time and its influence on the self. Perception, both of the outer world and of the self, is also investigated.
Oh and I almost forgot, this is a ghost story.
I love the cover photo....Continua