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100 Top Quotes By Don DeLillo, The Author Of White Noise

Famous As: Writer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist, Essayist, Journalist
Born On: November 20, 1936
Born In: New York City
A PEN/ Faulkner Award recipient and two times Pulitzer Prize nominee, Don DeLillo is an American novelist, playwright and essayist who rose to fame with his bestseller work, ‘White Noise’ that brought him widespread recognition and respect. A well acclaimed writer, DeLillo shot to fame for his works that covered a wide variety of subjects including television, nuclear war, sports, the complexities of language, performance art, the Cold War, mathematics, the advent of the digital age, politics, economics, and global terrorism. After the stellar success of ‘White Noise’, DeLillo struck gold again with his book, ‘Libra’ that gained him prominence as a cult writer. His work displays elements of both modernism and modernism. Most of his works revolve around exploring postmodern themes of rampant consumerism, novelty intellectualism, underground conspiracies, the disintegration and re-integration of the family, and the promise of rebirth through violence. His works also reflect psychology of crowds and capitulation of individuals to group identity. This also holds true in terms of his quotes that actually throw a light into his ideals and beliefs. They touch various aspects of life and give us a new perspective from which to look at life and things. Explore this section for Don DeLillo quotes.
How I would enjoy being told the novel is dead. How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception. You are the ghoul of literature.

How I would enjoy being told the novel is dead. How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception. You are the ghoul of literature.

Don DeLillo
The future belongs to crowds.

The future belongs to crowds.

Don DeLillo
No sense of the irony of human experience, that we are the highest form of life on earth, and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die.

No sense of the irony of human experience, that we are the highest form of life on earth, and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die.

Don DeLillo
I've got death inside me. It's just a question of whether or not I can outlive it.

I've got death inside me. It's just a question of whether or not I can outlive it.

Don DeLillo
California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.

California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.

Don DeLillo
Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.

Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.

Don DeLillo
He wanted to fuck her loudly on a hard bed with rain beating on the windows.

He wanted to fuck her loudly on a hard bed with rain beating on the windows.

Don DeLillo
There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?

There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?

Don DeLillo
The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear.

The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear.

Don DeLillo
Even when you self-destruct, you want to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others.

Even when you self-destruct, you want to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others.

Don DeLillo
All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots.

All plots tend to move deathward. This is the nature of plots.

Don DeLillo
It was important for him to believe that he'd spent his life among people who kept missing the point.

It was important for him to believe that he'd spent his life among people who kept missing the point.

Don DeLillo
What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.

What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation.

Don DeLillo
Facts are lonely things

Facts are lonely things

Don DeLillo
Talent is more erotic when it's wasted.

Talent is more erotic when it's wasted.

Don DeLillo
It is possible to be homesick for a place even when you are there.

It is possible to be homesick for a place even when you are there.

Don DeLillo
What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.

What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.

Don DeLillo
Before pop art, there was such a thing as bad taste. Now there's kitsch, schlock, camp, and porn.

Before pop art, there was such a thing as bad taste. Now there's kitsch, schlock, camp, and porn.

Don DeLillo
It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams

It is so much simpler to bury reality than it is to dispose of dreams

Don DeLillo
I'm not reclusive at all. Just private.

I'm not reclusive at all. Just private.

Don DeLillo
Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live.

Everything is barely weeks. Everything is days. We have minutes to live.

Don DeLillo
Doesn't our knowledge of death make life more precious?'

What good is a preciousness based on fear and anxiety? It's an anxious quivering thing

Doesn't our knowledge of death make life more precious?' What good is a preciousness based on fear and anxiety? It's an anxious quivering thing

Don DeLillo
You need to know things the others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.

You need to know things the others don't know. It's what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.

Don DeLillo
That's why people take vacations. No to relax or find excitement or see new places. To escape the death that exists in routine things.

That's why people take vacations. No to relax or find excitement or see new places. To escape the death that exists in routine things.

Don DeLillo
I don’t want your candor. I want your soul in a silver thimble.

I don’t want your candor. I want your soul in a silver thimble.

Don DeLillo
Insanity's so personal. It's hard to know who shares our secrets.

Insanity's so personal. It's hard to know who shares our secrets.

Don DeLillo
A person rises on a word and falls on a syllable.

A person rises on a word and falls on a syllable.

Don DeLillo
These are the days after. Everything now is measured by after.

These are the days after. Everything now is measured by after.

Don DeLillo
American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous.

American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous.

Don DeLillo
Why is it so hard to be serious, so easy to be too serious?

Why is it so hard to be serious, so easy to be too serious?

Don DeLillo
He thinks he's happy but it's just a nerve cell in his brain that's getting too much stimulation or too little stimulation.

He thinks he's happy but it's just a nerve cell in his brain that's getting too much stimulation or too little stimulation.

Don DeLillo
Let's enjoy the aimless days while we still can.

Let's enjoy the aimless days while we still can.

Don DeLillo
The more things I threw away, the more I found.

The more things I threw away, the more I found.

Don DeLillo
People think about who they are in the stillest hour of the night. I carry this thought, the child's
mystery and terror of this thought, I feel this immensity in my soul every second of my life.

People think about who they are in the stillest hour of the night. I carry this thought, the child's mystery and terror of this thought, I feel this immensity in my soul every second of my life.

Don DeLillo
I want to bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on.

I want to bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on.

Don DeLillo
When birds look into houses, what impossible worlds they see.

When birds look into houses, what impossible worlds they see.

Don DeLillo
Money has lost its narrative quality the way painting did once upon a time. Money is talking to itself.

Money has lost its narrative quality the way painting did once upon a time. Money is talking to itself.

Don DeLillo
Sometimes a thing that's hard is hard because you're doing it wrong. (Point Omega)

Sometimes a thing that's hard is hard because you're doing it wrong. (Point Omega)

Don DeLillo
Mirrors and images. Or sex and love. These are two separate systems that we miserably try to link.

Mirrors and images. Or sex and love. These are two separate systems that we miserably try to link.

Don DeLillo
When he died he would not end. The world would end.

When he died he would not end. The world would end.

Don DeLillo
This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature. - Murray (WN 285)

This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature. - Murray (WN 285)

Don DeLillo
It was the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.

It was the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.

Don DeLillo
Stories are consoling, fiction is one of the consolation prizes for having lived in the world.

Stories are consoling, fiction is one of the consolation prizes for having lived in the world.

Don DeLillo
Fear is self-awareness raised to a higher level.

Fear is self-awareness raised to a higher level.

Don DeLillo
Some people are larger than life. Hitler is larger than death.

Some people are larger than life. Hitler is larger than death.

Don DeLillo
The instant he knew he loved her, she slipped down his body and out of his arms.

The instant he knew he loved her, she slipped down his body and out of his arms.

Don DeLillo
Sex finds us. sex sees through us. that's why it's so shattering. it strips us of appearances.

Sex finds us. sex sees through us. that's why it's so shattering. it strips us of appearances."_Eric Packer

Don DeLillo
Longing on a large scale makes history.

Longing on a large scale makes history.

Don DeLillo
Some nights I need to be held. Tonight I'm a listener. So nice to lie in rumpled sheets and listen. Cover me with words.

Some nights I need to be held. Tonight I'm a listener. So nice to lie in rumpled sheets and listen. Cover me with words.

Don DeLillo
The world is full of abandoned meanings. In the commonplace I find unexpected themes and intensities.

The world is full of abandoned meanings. In the commonplace I find unexpected themes and intensities.

Don DeLillo
He wanted paper and something to write with, some way to sustain a thought, to place it in the world.

He wanted paper and something to write with, some way to sustain a thought, to place it in the world.

Don DeLillo
Shit is universal no matter which language.

Shit is universal no matter which language.

Don DeLillo
The cheesecake was smooth and lush, with the personality of a warm and well-to-do uncle who knows a hundred dirty jokes and will die of sexual exertions in the arms of his mistress.

The cheesecake was smooth and lush, with the personality of a warm and well-to-do uncle who knows a hundred dirty jokes and will die of sexual exertions in the arms of his mistress.

Don DeLillo
The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.

The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.

Don DeLillo
I don't want to do the type of writing where I recite biography, parentage and education. I want to rise up from the words on the page and do something, hurt someone.

I don't want to do the type of writing where I recite biography, parentage and education. I want to rise up from the words on the page and do something, hurt someone.

Don DeLillo
For most people, there are only two places in the world. Where they live and their TV set. If a thing happens on television, we have every right to find it fascinating, whatever it is.

For most people, there are only two places in the world. Where they live and their TV set. If a thing happens on television, we have every right to find it fascinating, whatever it is.

Don DeLillo
Maybe when we die, the first thing we’ll say is, 'I know this feeling. I was here before.

Maybe when we die, the first thing we’ll say is, 'I know this feeling. I was here before.

Don DeLillo
Eye contact was a delicate matter. A quarter second of a shared glance was a violation of agreements that made the city operational.

Eye contact was a delicate matter. A quarter second of a shared glance was a violation of agreements that made the city operational.

Don DeLillo
Too much has been forgotten in the name of memory.

Too much has been forgotten in the name of memory.

Don DeLillo
Everything that goes on in your whole life is a result of molecules rushing around somewhere in your brain.

Everything that goes on in your whole life is a result of molecules rushing around somewhere in your brain.

Don DeLillo
We need time to lose interest in things.

We need time to lose interest in things.

Don DeLillo
That which we fear to touch is often the very fabric of our salvation.

That which we fear to touch is often the very fabric of our salvation.

Don DeLillo
It is all falling indelibly into the past.

It is all falling indelibly into the past.

Don DeLillo
The less important you are in an office, the more they expect the happy smile.

The less important you are in an office, the more they expect the happy smile.

Don DeLillo
Everything's a scandal. Dying's a scandal. But we all do it.

Everything's a scandal. Dying's a scandal. But we all do it.

Don DeLillo
I feel sad for people and the queer part we play in our own distasters.

I feel sad for people and the queer part we play in our own distasters.

Don DeLillo
A writer takes earnest measures to secure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.

A writer takes earnest measures to secure his solitude and then finds endless ways to squander it.

Don DeLillo
The smoke alarm went off in the hallway upstairs, either to let us know the battery had just died or because the house was on fire.

The smoke alarm went off in the hallway upstairs, either to let us know the battery had just died or because the house was on fire.

Don DeLillo
How many beginnings before you see the lies in your excitement?

How many beginnings before you see the lies in your excitement?

Don DeLillo
If you know you're worth nothing, only a gamble with death can gratify your vanity.

If you know you're worth nothing, only a gamble with death can gratify your vanity.

Don DeLillo
The term itself—my life—is a desperate overstatement.

The term itself—my life—is a desperate overstatement.

Don DeLillo
Stories have no point if they don't absorb our terror.

Stories have no point if they don't absorb our terror.

Don DeLillo
I used to think it was possible for an artist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory.

I used to think it was possible for an artist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory.

Don DeLillo
Why something and not nothing? why music and not noise?

Why something and not nothing? why music and not noise?

Don DeLillo
He said,

He said, "The word for moonlight is moonlight.

Don DeLillo
Explain me to myself, you’ll make me choke on my lunch. Feel sympathy for me, I’ll puke monkey blood on your understated shoes.

Explain me to myself, you’ll make me choke on my lunch. Feel sympathy for me, I’ll puke monkey blood on your understated shoes.

Don DeLillo
As technology advances in complexity and scope, fear becomes more primitive.

As technology advances in complexity and scope, fear becomes more primitive.

Don DeLillo
Look past the violence. There is a wonderful brimming spirit of innocence and fun.

Look past the violence. There is a wonderful brimming spirit of innocence and fun.

Don DeLillo
I was always younger than anyone around me. One day it began to change.

I was always younger than anyone around me. One day it began to change.

Don DeLillo
Every advance in knowledge and technique is matched by a new kind of death, a new strain. Death adapts, like a viral agent.

Every advance in knowledge and technique is matched by a new kind of death, a new strain. Death adapts, like a viral agent.

Don DeLillo
Be willing to die for your beliefs, or computer printouts of your beliefs.

Be willing to die for your beliefs, or computer printouts of your beliefs.

Don DeLillo
Do people still shoot at presidents? I thought there were more stimulating targets.' (20)

Do people still shoot at presidents? I thought there were more stimulating targets.' (20)

Don DeLillo
World is supposed to mean something that's self-contained. but nothing is self-contained.

World is supposed to mean something that's self-contained. but nothing is self-contained.

Don DeLillo
You have to break through the structure of your own stonework habit just to make yourself listen.

You have to break through the structure of your own stonework habit just to make yourself listen.

Don DeLillo
Freud is finished, Einstein's next.

Freud is finished, Einstein's next.

Don DeLillo
He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful.

He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful.

Don DeLillo
The future is always a wholeness, a sameness. We're all tall and happy there,' she said. 'This is why the future fails. It always fails. It can never be the cruel happy place we want to make it.

The future is always a wholeness, a sameness. We're all tall and happy there,' she said. 'This is why the future fails. It always fails. It can never be the cruel happy place we want to make it.

Don DeLillo
Brilliant people never think of the lives they smash, being brilliant.

Brilliant people never think of the lives they smash, being brilliant.

Don DeLillo
Was she naked?

Was she naked?" Lasher said. "To the waist," Cotsakis said. "From which direction?" Lasher said.

Don DeLillo
Past, present and future are not amenities of language. Time unfolds into the seamsof being. It passes through you, making and shaping.

Past, present and future are not amenities of language. Time unfolds into the seamsof being. It passes through you, making and shaping.

Don DeLillo
There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.

There's always more to it. This is what history consists of. It is the sum total of the things they aren't telling us.

Don DeLillo
...Because what's the meaning of doing dishes if you're not driven by something beyond necessity.

...Because what's the meaning of doing dishes if you're not driven by something beyond necessity.

Don DeLillo
Doesn't seem quite real. It's not meaningful. I can't quite imagine myself being 73. That's the age my father was! [Laughter.] How can I be his age? It's weird.

Doesn't seem quite real. It's not meaningful. I can't quite imagine myself being 73. That's the age my father was! [Laughter.] How can I be his age? It's weird.

Don DeLillo
Ask yourself this question. Do we have to be humans forever? Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field.

Ask yourself this question. Do we have to be humans forever? Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field.

Don DeLillo
Off-camera lives are unverifiable.

Off-camera lives are unverifiable.

Don DeLillo
Prayer is a practical strategy, the gaining of temporal advantage in the capital markets of Sin and Remission.

Prayer is a practical strategy, the gaining of temporal advantage in the capital markets of Sin and Remission.

Don DeLillo
Out of some persistent sense of large-scale ruin, we kept inventing hope.

Out of some persistent sense of large-scale ruin, we kept inventing hope.

Don DeLillo
You shout because it makes you brave or you want to announce your recklessness.

You shout because it makes you brave or you want to announce your recklessness.

Don DeLillo
Writing is freedom.

Writing is freedom.

Don DeLillo
The truth of the world is exhausting.

The truth of the world is exhausting.

Don DeLillo