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Everything belongs, everything adheres, the mutter of obscure witnesses, the photos of illegible documents and odd sad personal debris, things gathered up at a dying―old shoes, pajama tops, letters from Russia. It is all one thing, a ruined city of trivia where people feel real pain. This is the Joycean Book of America, remember―the novel in which nothing is left out.
☛ Libra by Don DeLillo, New York: Penguin, 1988, p. 182.
In an interview he did in 1988, Don DeLillo tells more about imagining the Warren Commission Report as a novel by James Joyce:
DeCurtis: At one point you describe the Warren Commission Report, which is twenty-six volume long, as the novel that James Joyce might have written if he had moved to Iowa City and lived to be a hundred.
DeLillo: I asked myself what Joyce could possibily do after Finnegans Wake, and this was the answer. It’s an amazing document. The first fifteen volumes are devoted to testimony and the last eleven volumes to exhibits, and together we have a masterwork of trivia ranging from Jack Ruby’s mother’s dental records to photographs of knotted string. What was valuable to me most specifically was the testimony of dozens and dozens of people who talk not only about their connection to the assassination itself but about their jobs, their marriage, their children. This testimony provided an extraordinary window on life in the fifties and sixties and, beyond that, gave me a sense of people speech patterns, whether they were private detectives from New Orleans or railroad workers from Worth. I’m sure that without those twenty-six volumes I would have written a very different novel and probably a much less interesting one. (“‘An Outsider in This Society’: An Interview with Don DeLillo” by Anthony DeCurtis, reproduced in Conversations with Don DeLillo, ed. by Thomas DePietro, Jackson: University Press of Mississipi, 2005, p. 62; originally published in South Atlantic Quarterly, 89, no. 2, pp. 281-304; expanded from “Matters of Fact and Fiction,” Rolling Stone, November 17, 1988, pp. 113-122)
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