I only recently learned about Mr. DeLillo and I have to say I’m in shock. Before I had read any of his books I can see that he, like Guy Gavriel Kay, is the type of author who can make words dance and sentences MEAN things. I would give my left ovary (not so dramatic a thing since at 53 those parts are hardly crucial) to sit down with either of these gentlemen, or even better their writing notes, for an afternoon!
They don’t tell stories.. they become them.
I ran into Mr. DeLillo while listening to a lecture on sentence structure (of all things) and his remark about the purpose of a sentence “… a sentence is the cell beyond which the life of a book cannot be traced.” just floored me. Who the hell writes sentences like that for a textbook!
“As belief shrinks from the world, it is more necessary than ever that someone believe. Wild-eyed men in caves. Nuns in black. Monks who do not speak. We are left to believe. Fools, children. Those who have abandoned belief must still believe in us. They are sure they are right not to believe but they know belief must not fade completely. Hell is when no one believes.”…DON DELILLO, White Noise
Here is another one (quoting from memory- so not guaranteed accurate) from a Mr. Berger (Author of Little Big Man)
“… only the sentence can be proven to exist. Even at the stage of a paragraph things are becoming theoretical and arbitrary. The novel is an utter hallucination as no definition of it can distinguish it in any significant way from a laundry list.”
And my favourite fantasy author -Guy Gavriel Kay