Don DeLillo On the Boston Marathon Bombings

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“Only a catastrophe gets our attention. We want them, we depend on them. As long as they happen somewhere else.”—White Noise

“Stalking a victim can be a way of organizing one’s loneliness, making a network out of it, a fabric of connections. Desperate men give their solitude a purpose and a destiny.”—Libra

“After [Lee Harvey] Oswald, men in America are no longer required to lead lives of quiet desperation. You apply for a credit card, buy a handgun, travel through cities, suburbs and shopping malls, anonymous, anonymous, looking for a chance to take a shot at the first puffy empty famous face, just to let people know there is someone out there who reads the papers.”—Libra

“How do you create a shift in rooted attitudes and hard-line positions if not through public events that show us how to imagine other possibilities?”—Mao II

“And isn’t it the novelist, Bill, above all people, above all writers, who understands this rage, who knows in his soul what the terrorist thinks and feels? Through history it’s the novelist who has felt affinity for the violent man who lives in the dark.”—Mao II

“Years ago I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory.”—Mao II

“I believe, Jack, there are two kinds of people in the world. Killers and diers. Most of us are diers. We don’t have the disposition, the rage or whatever it takes to be a killer. We let death happen. We lie down and die. But think what it’s like to be a killer. Think how exciting it is, in theory, to kill a person in direct confrontation. If he dies, you cannot. To kill him is to gain life-credit. The more people you kill, the more credit you store up. It explains any number of massacres, wars, executions.”—White Noise

“Do people still shoot at presidents? I thought there were more stimulating targets.”—Cosmopolis

“The future belongs to crowds.”—Mao II

“Wasn’t there a sense, we Americans felt, in which we had it coming?”—The Names

– Brian Hurley

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