Picture of a Gone World
Delillo evokes the sensation of catastrophic change
by Don DeLillo
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There is a strange, shifting air of congruence between Don DeLillo’s two most recent novels, Cosmopolis (2003) and Falling Man, the first seeming to call for or provoke the second. In fact, the second revokes the first, abruptly strands it in a forgotten time and mentality. The time of Cosmopolis is “the year 2000, a day in April,” and soon after that the days changed.
Falling Man, set in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, presents a situation no character in Cosmopolis could imagine, although, perversely, the protagonist of that novel would no doubt have loved to. He is Eric Packer, an immensely wealthy young money manager who lives in a fancy high-rise apartment with forty-eight rooms, a borzoi kennel, and a shark tank; makes reckless, erroneous financial predictions; and has always,
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