Noble, Stuart (2008):
"Don DeLillo and Society’s Reorientation to Time and Space: An Interpretation of Cosmopolis." Eds. Carmody, Heather; Glauser, Michelle; Herrmann, Sebastian M.; Pitzing, Alexandra; Schönmeier, Lisa Sylvia; Weise, Lars. aspeers 1: 57-70.
Journal Article

This essay reads Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis as a novelization of social theories of time and space as expressed across various academic disciplines. Changing conceptions of time and space point to an underlying change in the social structure. I thus view DeLillo’s novel as social theory. Economist Jeremy Rifkin recently wrote, “[t]he great turning points in human history are often triggered by changing conceptions of space and time. Sometimes, the adoption of a single technology can be transformative in nature, changing the very way our minds filter the world” (89). Eric Packer lives in a world with a multitude of adopted new technologies. His reflections on language embody this mental filtering. Cyber-capital, and digitization in general, represent these new technologies. Packer’s desire to “live on a disc” (105), epitomizes the novel’s portrayal of changing conceptions of time and space. This paper thus explores expressions of the inadequacy of contemporary language under these “turning points in human history.” It demonstrates how statements on language reflect society’s mental filtering or changing orientation to time and space. Cosmopolis could be viewed as a redescription project.