Don DeLillo's Falling Man: An Introduction
- Discussion Questions for the Novel
- Character Study: Florence Givens [vid]
- Character Study: Keith Neudecker [vid]
- Close Reading: Lianne’s Online Search for the Falling Man Artist
- Close Reading: Keith in the Casino [vid]
- Close Reading: Keith's Visual Activity
- Close Reading:: "In the Ruins of the Future"
- Interview with Katie Dryhurst [vid]
- Interview with Alexandra Blogier [vid]
- Travis Fine's The Space Between: An Introduction
Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: An Introduction
- Discussion Questions for the Novel
- Character Study: Mr. Black [vid]
- Character Study: Oskar Schell [vid]
- Character Study: Thomas Schell [vid]
- Close Reading: Oskar in Bed and Flip Book [vid]
- Close Reading: Oskar's Appointment with Dr. Fein
- Interview with Michael Olmert [vid]
- Interview with Wendy Fowler-Conner [vid]
- Interview with Laura Foster [vid]
- Richard A. Grusin's Premediation: An Introduction
- Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist: An Introduction
Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children: An Introduction
- Introduction: Part 2
- Discussion Questions for the Novel: First Half
- Discussion Questions for the Novel: Second Half
- Character Study: Annabel Thwaite
- Character Study: Frederick "Bootie" Tubb
- Character Study: Frederick "Bootie" Tubb [vid]
- Character Study: Julius Clarke [vid]
- Character Study: Danielle Minkoff
- Close Reading: Danielle Identifies Herself with the Victims of 9/11
- Close Reading: Murray's Manuscript
- Close Reading: The Morning of the Towers [vid]
- Close Reading: What Messud's Satire Achieves
- Close Reading: Analysis and Portent in "The Pope's End"
- Interview with Joan Cohen [vid]
- Joseph O'Neill's Netherland: An Introduction
- Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge: An Introduction
- Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers: An Introduction
- David Wyatt's And Then the War Came: An Introduction
- Dylan Avery's Loose Change: An Introduction
- The September 11 Digital Archive: An Introduction
- Character Study: Charlie, Twilight of the Superheroes
- Character Study: Lucien, Twilight of the Superheroes
- Close Reading: Nathaniel's View From Mr. Matsumoto's Balcony, Twilight of the Superheroes
- Interview with Phil Mulliken on Basinski's The Disintegration Loops [vid]
- Interview with Oliver Gaycken on Basinski's Disintegration Loops [vid]
- Don DeLillo's Falling Man: An Introduction
- Mapping the Literature of 9/11
Don DeLillo, Falling Man Discussion Questions
1. In “Baader-Meinhof,” Falling Man, and Point Omega, DeLillo repeatedly depicts characters that are watchful—vigilant, in fact. There are numerous scenes of characters keeping vigil, often at scenes of art but also for the dead (Nina’s wake). In Falling Man, Justin vigilantly scans the skies for “Bill Lawton.” How does DeLillo conceptualize “watchfulness?” How does he distinguish between “watchfulness” and paranoia?
2. Falling Man describes numerous scenes of re-appropriation. Keith re-appropriates the briefcase, DeLillo re-appropriates Richard Drew’s photograph, Falling Man (the character) as well re-appropriates the famous image. What is the significance of re-appropriation?
3. Why does Justin speak in monosyllables?
4. DeLillo’s fiction has long been interested in “the massive”—mass culture, mass consumerism, mass ritual (opening scene Mao II). In Falling Man, DeLillo depicts massive crowds, looming towers, vast skylines (see below). What do such depictions of immensity do?
“The mass of the towers filled the frame of the picture. The man falling, the towers contiguous . . . behind him. The enormous soaring lines, the vertical column stripes. The man with blood on his shirt . . . and the effect of the columns behind him” (221).
"Lianne was paralyzed by “the mass, the immensity of it” (221).
5. Martin instructs Lianne to view art scientifically: “Stand apart. See things clinically, unemotionally . . . Measure the elements” (Falling Man 140). But this approach fails. Rather than “stand apart,” Lianne becomes one with art—viewing David Janiak dangling from a rope, “she was passing beyond pleasure into some kind of assimilation. She was trying to absorb what she saw, take it home, wrap it around her, sleep in it. There was so much to see. Turn it into living tissue, who you are” (210, emphasis mine). This passage recalls earlier description of “organic shrapnel" (16) and scenes from “Ruins” essay. What is the significance of absorption?
6. How/why does Falling Man distinguish between voluntary memory and involuntary memory? Between conscious cognition and non-conscious cognition (affective or material experience)?