To say that Don DeLillo dislikes television would be an understatement. He actually seems to think it’s imperiling our souls.
DeLillo’s novel White Noise—which won the National Book Award in 1985 and secured his reputation as one of the best contemporary American writers—was originally supposed to be called Panasonic. No doubt anticipating the reticence of his publisher’s lawyers to upset the Japanese corporation of the same name, DeLillo defended his working title as “essential” for its ability to capture the uneasy “sound-saturation” that fills the book. “The paradox of television,” he wrote in a proposal archived with his papers at the University of Texas’s Harry Ransom Center,