Tuning Into Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise’ in This Static Age
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Tuning Into Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise’ in This Static Age

Like the many who’ve recently revisited it, you may have picked up your old copy of The Plague and marveled at how prescient Albert Camus was in imagining an animal-borne pneumonic disease that sends a bustling town into quarantine and condemns its citizens to death and dread.

Except for the fact that the victims of Camus’s plague were allowed to sip cappuccinos at sidewalk cafes, the novel reads like a blow-by-blow of the present-day coronavirus crisis. But there’s something missing. Despite the occasional mention of telephones and radios, Camus’s pandemic feels timeless, like it could be happening in 1849 (when Oran, Algeria really did face a deadly wave of cholera) just as easily as in the 1940s. The Plague fails to capture a crucial aspect of our current…

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Written by Punchland Staff

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