Saturday, June 15, 2013

Point Omega - Don DeLillo

Omega Point : describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving, says the description. A word coined by  French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin , says the universe is moving towards a point of supreme complexity and consciousness at all the time. Don DeLillo, reversing the words order, trying to tell us that there is no evidence of a super consciousness, but in the 'time, space and substance' triangle its the chaos that reign. “Consciousness is exhausted. Back now to inorganic matter. This is what we want. We want to be stones in a field.”

Richard Esler, a defence scholar and consultant, worked with the CIA in the days prior to the Iraq War, is now retired and living an isolated life in the deserts of California, in an attempt to find possibly the 'point omega', a spiritual life, in search of himself and the wisdom of self awareness. Jim Finley, a small time film maker, wants to direct a documentary film about Richard Esler, and to gain insights to the world of military intelligence and war. Tracking him down the desert, Jim attempt to get Esler talk, wanting to record his film in a natural free flowing monologue, as and when and how the reluctant  Esler like to do it.  In the pages that follows is the high level of intellectual setting, where two confront each other and lift themselves to the level of complexities regarding the various aspects of life and war. Esler, was to conceptualize the war as a haiku. "I wanted a war in three lines...".  Eslers, daughter joins them a few days later, adding to the overall setting in the isolated desert, being sent by her mother( estranged wife of Esler) in order to get her out of the influence of a possible stalker( lover?). The otherwise, slow sparse narrative takes a definite turn with the disappearance of the lady and the following search in the vast desert for possible clue.

The novel starts with an anonymous entry of a movie screening of the '24-hour psycho' where a man leaning against the wall is watching ( continuously for the 6 days, the exhibition was running) the various people coming and going in the hall. As he observe the slow 2 frame per second psycho unfold on the screen, we see various specimen of the society walk in and out , which supposedly include people that resembles Esler and Jim , Eslers daughter, who gives him her contact without revealing her name among others. There are different readings into the anonymity chapters, which can in a way initiate ( in the first) and solve the overall puzzle of the disappearance and there after.

Typical to DeLillo's writing, the words are sparse, the sentences are crisp and moulded in the high intellect and complexity. There isn't strong story line to say. The interpersonal conversations are generally tense and had uneasy space in between. The silences and omitted sentenced ( I dont know if that is the right way to put it) are often provide the connection. The language and the prose are very lyrical and attractive. But, the air of uncertainty, unclear nature continue to torment the readers, especially in the middle pages where every thing is vague, directionless, pretentious and very artificial.

Point Omega ( 2010 )

Don DeLillo


117 Pages
Wiki , Shigekuni

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