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Theory & Event
Recent work on literature and political theory has focused on reading literature as a reflection of the damaged conditions of contemporary political life. Examining Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis, this essay develops an alternative approach to the politics of literature that attends to the style and form of the novel. The form and style of Cosmopolis emphasize the novel’s own dissonance with the world it criticizes; they moreover suggest a politics of poetic world-making intent on eliciting collective agency over the commonness of language. As a “polis artist,” DeLillo does not determine a particular politics but shapes the conditions and spaces of political life with an eye toward alternative futures.
Copyright © 2016 Joel Alden Schlosser and The Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Theory & Event, Volume 19, Issue 1, 2016.
J. Schlosser, “The Polis Artist: Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis and Politics of Literature.” Theory & Event 19.1 (2016).