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Rewiring the RealIn Conversation with William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo$
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Mark Taylor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160414

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160414.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

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Chapter:
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Source:
Rewiring the Real
Author(s):

Mark C. Taylor

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231160414.003.0007

This book explores the complex interrelation of religion, literature, and philosophy by focusing on single works by four American writers: William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, and Don DeLillo. With one exception, these writers are not concerned with or directly influenced by European philosophy. However, just as religion is most interesting where it is least obvious, so philosophy often is important even when it is not recognized or acknowledged. The point of this study is not to trace historical influences but to explore pressing contemporary issues that the nexus of religion, literature, and technology illuminates. Gaddis, Powers, Danielewski, and DeLillo all share a recognition of the ways in which new media, communications, and information technologies transformed life during the latter half of the twentieth century and continue to shape our world in predictable and unpredictable ways. Neither simply utopian nor dystopian, they acknowledge that these developments both change the conditions of cultural production and pose unprecedented artistic challenges.

Keywords:   William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Mark Danielewski, Don DeLillo, American writers

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