28.3.10

Don DeLillo's White Noise: Annotated

Andrew Hearst shares a rare glimpse from the Harry Ransom Center archives
First annotated page of Don DeLillo's 'White Noise'

Andrew Hearst reveals previously unseen annotations of the first page of White Noise, with the aid of its author, Don DeLillo:
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Don DeLillo gave a reading at the University of Texas on February 10 to mark the sale of his papers to the university’s Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. The next day, the Austin American-Statesman reported that DeLillo read from Libra and Underworld, answered a few questions, and then left. Uneventful, but DeLillo isn’t exactly a flamboyant guy.

A few days before the reading, the American-Statesman published something excellent: an annotation of the opening page of White Noise, with details drawn from various drafts of that page found in the author’s papers. The reporter, Jeff Salamon, also interviewed DeLillo for the piece. Some of the information in Salamon’s annotation has long been known to DeLillo observers—e.g., the fact that DeLillo wanted to call the book Panasonic but couldn’t get permission from the Matsushita corporation—but the piece contains a number of specific new details about DeLillo’s writing process.

The American-Statesman’s site has a totally annoying registration process (and the login and password posted on Bug Me Not don’t work anymore). So I will just post the entire thing here, after the jump.

Twelve years after I first read it, White Noise is still my favorite novel. I don’t have a favorite movie or a favorite TV show or a favorite album or a favorite band; I don’t tend to narrow things down quite that much. But I have a favorite novel, and it’s White Noise. [Read the article]

Also at A Piece of Monologue