Don DeLillo, Underworld
This chapter presents a reading of Don DeLillo's Underworld (1997). The novel is one of the richest explorations of the complexities and contradictions of life during the latter half of the twentieth century that has been written in fiction or nonfiction. DeLillo connects without integrating the abstract and concrete, global and local, public and private, material and immaterial, planned and random, conspiracy and coincidence. Rather than a single narrative drawing together characters and events, Underworld tracks countless trails that unfold, intertwine, and unravel between October 3, 1951, the day the Giants and the Dodgers played the epic third game to determine the National League pennant race—and the day the Soviet Union conducted a nuclear test that is commonly considered to mark the beginning of the Cold War—and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992. Most commentators read DeLillo's novel as an allegory of the way the Cold War shaped American life for more than four decades. From this point of view, the decisive game between the Giants and Dodgers represents the deadly game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, whose outcome depended on stealing signals other than those the catcher sends the pitcher. However, this interpretation is incomplete and hardly does justice to either the breadth or the depth of DeLillo's analysis.
Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .