Don DeLillo's satiric novel White Noise, prophetic in 1985 about American society's rampant consumerism, information overload, overreliance on the media, and environmental problems, may seem to today's students simply a description of their lived reality. The challenge for teachers, then, is to help them appreciate both the postmodern qualities of the novel and its social critique.This volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," suggests readings and resources for both instructor and students of White Noise. The second part, "Approaches," contains eighteen essays that establish cultural, technological, and theoretical contexts (e.g., whiteness studies); place the novel in different survey courses (e.g., one that explores the theme of American materialism); compare it with other novels by DeLillo (e.g., Mao II); and give examples of classroom techniques and strategies in teaching it (e.g., the use of disaster films).
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John N. Duvall is the Margaret Church Distinguished Professor of English at Purdue University. He has published nine previous books on modernist and contemporary American fiction, most recently Race and White Identity in Southern Fiction (2008), The Cambridge Companion to Don DeLillo (2008) and Faulkner and his Critics (2010).Review:
"This collection...will be of great value to instructors of White Noise. The essays in the volume are lively, accessible, opinionated (in a good sense), and informative." -- Douglas Keesey California Polytechnic State University
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