Notes

6. DeLillo uses this fascinating trick throughout his fiction. Time and again he evokes the presence of a particular word without actually using the word itself. Sometimes he accomplishes this by directly noting the absence of the word in question (i.e., evoking “callipygian” in The Names by having James Axton narrate: “I ordered another drink and tried to recall the word for well-proportioned buttocks”) (DeLillo 1982/1989: 220); other times he is slightly more oblique (i.e., evoking “thalassophobia”—also in The Names—with the line “The fear of sea and things that come from the sea is easily spoken”) (DeLillo 1982/1989: 73).