When Ghosts Dream: Immigrant Desire in
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When Ghosts Dream: Immigrant Desire in book
N. Katherine Hayles addresses the tension of postmodern life. People all experience themselves as embodied creatures, living in specific times and places and limited by the biological, cultural, and historical inheritances that define them. Following Hayles, this chapter looks at the ways in which Don DeLillo's White Noise speaks to the 'postmodern parataxis'. This chapter examines more closely how the strain between embodiment and weightlessness informs Jack Gladney's narrative of his impending death. The White Noise illustrates that death is an ever-present concern for the Gladneys, which, in true American fashion, they have spent considerable energy trying to evade. The depth of the Gladney's investments in American consumerism is made plain by their attachment to the supermarket. If shopping is religious ritual, the supermarket stands as Blacksmith's cathedral. The function of Murray Jay Siskind is to tutor the Gladneys in the nature of postmodern life and its privileging of information over embodiment.