Breaking onto the American Literary scene in 1971 with the publishing of his book "Americana", Don DeLillo was initially well-regarded as a cult writer before the issue of his ninth book "White Noise" fourteen years later. Receiving the National Book Award and hailed by TIME as one of the "Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005", the book is revered as one of the finest examples of Postmodernist literature in the United States.
Going on to become a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his works "Mao II" and "Underworld", DeLillo's incisive examination of consumerism, underground conspiracies, novelty intellectualism, and rebirth through violence beneath the lens of satire has lead scholars and critics to deem him as one of the four major American Novelists of his time -- an honor he shares with Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, and Cormac McCarthy. Here are five of the best lines delivered by one, if not the foremost figure of the Postmodernist movement:
1. "The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear."
Scientific discovery and innovation are pursued to make that of our society simpler in being able to attain and entertain our foremost desires and deepest emotions. But in granting ourselves greater access to such yearnings, we have in turn made ourselves simple by granting greater authority to our impulses.
2. "It is possible to be homesick for a place even when you are there."
The places we long to travel to, to live in, are never truly the places we long to travel to, or live in. Even after we find ourselves able to live in them, and travel to them, we are still left longing to travel to them, and to live in them.
3. "People who are powerless make an open theater of violence."
Those in power should fear those without it. For it is those without power that will feel the most empowered.
4. "There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?"
We look to stars and any source of light above us as hope for life. But what good is that hope if it's as dead as we are? And has been dead for far longer?
5. "I've got death inside me. It's just a question of whether or not I can outlive it."
We're all dying, and eventually, we die. It's just a matter of what we do what time death grants us as we pass from babies taking our first breath in this world to old men confined to an old folks home; wasting away with the passing of each day until we pass into the dust used to bury what remains of us.
At 82, death draws ever nigh for Don DeLillo, although it has yet to decide when to claim him. Leaving him around for much longer in his attempt to outlive the inevitable. However, what is inevitable, are those among the dying touched by his words, inspired to believe they will outlive something.