Facebook keeps suggesting I become friends with “Don DeLillo.” I’d like that very much, of course, and yet I have yet to seriously consider pushing the little button to connect myself to whatever’s on the other end of the DD-fb page. Ah, but just for a second, imagine if it really was… Playing DD at Mafia Wars. Taking his surveys. Clicking “I like this” when he posts about a good writing day. Sounds kind of nightmarish, actually, when you talk it out like that. No? Here’s some more from Mao II–
In the solitary life there was a tendency to collect moments that might otherwise blur into the rough jostle, the swing of a body through busy streets and rooms. He lived deeply in these cosmic-odd pauses. They clung to him. He was a sitting industry of farts and belches. This is what he did for a living, sit and hawk, mucus and flatus, He saw himself staring at the hair buried in his typewriter. He leaned above his oval tablets, hearing the grainy cut of the blade. In his sleeplessness he went down the batting order of the 1938 Cleveland Indians. This was the true man, awake with phantoms. He saw them take the field in all the roomy optimism of those old uniforms, the sun-bleached dinky mitts. The names of those ballplayers were his night prayer, his reverent petition to God, with wording that remained eternally the same. He walked down the hall to piss or spit. He stood by the window dreaming. This was the man he saw as himself. The biographer who didn’t examine these things (not that there would ever be a biographer) couldn’t begin to know the catchments, the odd-corner deeps of Bill’s true life.
Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there. On one level this truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language. I’ve always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through a sentence. The language of my books has shaped me as a man. There’s a moral force in a sentence when it comes out right. It speaks the writer’s will to live. The deeper I become entangled in the process of getting a sentence right in its syllables and rhythms, the more I learn about myself.
– Mao II