Don DeLillo | The Point Magazine — Read on thepointmag.com/criticism/don-delillo/
DeLillo also explores narrativization, or the creation of plots with actions, actors, purposes, etc. Burke’s pentad is useful here; the idea is that people create stories with acts, agents, agencies, scenes, and purposes. This is how we observe reality, or reduce the complexity of raw perception. We find the creation of stories with clear actors, purposes, etc., irresistible.
In Dostoevsky‘s Crime and Punishment, we see how the legal system becomes just one of several function systems in modern society. Whereas once the law,
“A large number of passengers were already at the station-house awaiting the departure of the cars. By the aspect and demeanor of these persons it was easy to judge that the feelings of the community had undergone a very favorable change in reference to the celestial pilgrimage. It would have done Bunyan’s heart good to see it.”
Any sign of moral didacticism ruins art, if art is understood as its own autonomous social system. Art, in this sense, cannot be the servant of religion, education, philosophy, science any other kind of communication. These other systems can only use art parasitically.
If we are going to discuss social change, we have to consider the materials, technologies, or media that facilitate and shape communication. We can’t just