Since the publication of Americana in 1971, Don DeLillo’s work has commented upon American culture and shaped American literature. No subject seems to off-limits as his short stories, plays, essays, and novels (over fifteen and counting) take on topics ranging from art, history, politics, philosophy, and terrorism to the media, sports, and celebrity culture. His insight has led New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani to declare: “No writer has been as prescient and eerily prophetic about 21st-century America as Don DeLillo. His novels […] not only limned the surreal weirdness of the waning years of the 20th century, but somehow also managed to anticipate the shock and horror of 9/11 and its darkly unspooling aftermath.”
Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon, an open access, peer reviewed e-journal of scholarly work pertaining to the writings of Thomas Pynchon, related authors and adjacent fields, will publish a special issue dedicated to Don DeLillo in 2016 to mark the 45th anniversary of DeLillo’s debut novel and his decades of influence.
While the timing of the special issue coincides with the anniversary of Americana, essays are by no means limited to that text. The editor for this issue, Dr. Crystal Alberts, welcomes articles that consider any number of topics related to DeLillo’s body of work, which might include, but are in no way limited to:
- DeLillo and canonicity
- DeLillo’s relationship to his contemporaries (Pynchon, Gaddis, Updike, McCarthy, Roth, Coover, Barth, Gass, Mailer, etc.)
- DeLillo’s influence (Wallace, Auster, Franzen, etc.)
- Archival research and DeLillo’s source material
- The political implications of DeLillo’s work
- The shape and phases of DeLillo’s career
- Gender and sexuality in DeLillo
- DeLillo’s plays and their staging
- DeLillo and film (Game 6 or otherwise)
- DeLillo, art, and artists
- DeLillo and the media
- DeLillo and history
- DeLillo and sports
- DeLillo and pop culture
Article abstracts (300-500 words) and a brief CV can be submitted to the “DeLillo Special Issue” online and should be uploaded by June 30, 2014. Submissions with detailed outlines or in draft form will be given stronger consideration.
Completed essays of 5000-8000 words must be submitted by January 30, 2015 in accordance with the submission guidelines of Orbit. Brief queries to Crystal Alberts are welcome should there be questions about appropriate submission topics. Please note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the issue.
Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon is run by academics and supports its open access nature through university grants; there are no author fees.