We’re Still Living in Don DeLillo’s White Noise

Published in 1985, Don DeLillo’s White Noise depicted an America blinded by consumerism. Ahead of Netflix’s adaptation of the novel, it’s worth revisiting DeLillo’s masterpiece, which remains one of our most perceptive visions of contemporary America. Don DeLillo’s White Noise remains one of our most perceptive visions of contemporary America and the desperate illusions of consumer society. (Greg Smith / Corbis via Getty Images) “I want to immerse myself,” says one character in Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel, White Noise, “in American magic and dread.” Plenty of novels capture American dread, but few understand its relationship to American magic as well as White Noise. Ahead of Netflix’s adaptation of the novel, it’s worth revisiting DeLillo’s masterpiece, which remains one of our most perceptive visions of contemporary America and the desperate illusions of consumer society. White Noise centers on Jack Gladney, a professor of Hitler Studies at the College-on-the-Hill (a name that recalls the description of America, often used by Ronald Reagan, as “the city on the hill”). Jack and his family live a normal middle-class life — supermarket, mall, television — but in DeLillo’s hands, it is an uncanny normality. White Noise confronts the problem faced by every novelist who tries…

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We’re Still Living in Don DeLillo’s White Noise

Updated: September 30, 2022 — 10:26 am