Notes

5. Compare Babette’s attempt at “family building” to the following description from The Names: “I knew our marriage was shot to hell when we started watching TV in different rooms,” he said. “If her sound was up loud enough, I could hear her changing channels in there. When she went to the same channel I was watching, I switched channels myself. I couldn’t bear watching the same stuff she was watching. I believe this is called estrangement.” (DeLillo 1982/1989: 69) In both cases, the measure of domestic felicity is communal viewership. Here, as is often the case in DeLillo’s fiction, it is audio that ultimately mediates the relationship. (Note, too, the curious result of dual viewing: from the perspective of either auditor, when the channels coincide, the other television is effectively muted.)