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Excerpts From DeLillo Novel

November 15, 1997

Excerpts from Don DeLillo’s novel ``Underworld″:

``Jackie sits there like an air traveler in a downdraft. The pages keep falling. Baby food, instant coffee, encyclopedias and cars, waffle irons and shampoos and blended whiskeys. Piping times, an optimistic bounty that carries into the news pages where the nation’s farmers record a bumper crop. And the resplendent products, how the dazzle of a Packard car is repeated in the feature story about the art treasures of the Prado. It is all part of the same thing. Rubens and Titian and Playtex and Motorola.″


``Charlie wanted to pitch the Minute Maid account. He thought about orange juice all the time. He looked at it, drank it, had fantasies about it. He knew how to advertise orange juice. Forget Florida. Forget the piddling vitamins. You have to go for appetite appeal, for the visual hit, because this is a beautiful and enticing beverage and women’s eyeballs reach high levels of excitation when they see the bright orange cans in the freezer, gleaming with rime ice.″


``The long ghosts are walking the halls. When my mother died I felt expanded, slowly, durably, over time. I felt suffused with her truth, spread through, as with water, color or light. I thought she’d entered the deepest place I could provide, the animating entity, the thing, if anything, that will survive my own last breath, and she makes me larger, she amplifies my sense of what it is to be human. She is part of me now, total and consoling. And it is not a sadness to acknowledge that she had to die before I could know her fully. It is only a statement of the power of what comes after.″

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