Review of Zero K

Zero K by Don DeLillo review – the problem of mortality

One doesn’t think of Don DeLillo as a religious writer, exactly, but there has always been an atmosphere of divination and prophecy about his work; a tendency for his plots to take their characters through successive portals of initiation, often into vaguely cultic mysteries. His prose, too, has always had a distinct bias toward the state of rapture, whether he’s observing a grungy streetscape or a desert sunrise. His last novel took its title, Point Omega, from the Jesuit thinker Teilhard de Chardin, who coined the phrase for the end-state of transcendent consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving. From Point Omega to Zero K would seem a short distance, conceptually, and the books certainly share an interest in Last Things. The main difference is that while Point Omega tackled questions of oblivion and extinction obliquely, Zero K goes at them full on. This is Don DeLillo’s Book of the Dead.

The long first section is set in the deserts of central Asia, at a (mostly) underground facility referred to as the Convergence, where, under the patronage of a visionary billionaire named Ross Lockhart, an army of global illuminati are attempting to solve the problem of mortality. Surprisingly (for DeLillo) their solution turns out to involve the old sci-fi idea of cryonic suspension, necessitating several scenes with frost-rimed pods, the hoariness of which isn’t entirely mitigated by the rhetoric surrounding them: “This is the future, this remoteness, this sunken dimension. Solid but also elusive in a way. A set of coordinates mapped from space. And one of our objectives is to establish a consciousness that blends with the environment.”

Read further @ The Guardian

 

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~ by eneryvibes on 1,March 8, 2017.

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