I have a lot of favorite passages in Cosmopolis, but one of my favorite parts of the whole book is the beginning few pages. I love how DeLillo sets the scene and the mood. I like the symbolism of Eric being high above society in his tower observing his city. He takes great care in describing this first scene in all of its beauty before he descends onto the streets and further and further into the city.
The whole book paints an entire picture of New York, but these first passages really set the tone for the beginning of the story.
I’ve been spending a lot of time with “Sunglasses Eric” the past few days *coughs* buttons *coughs* and I wanted him to be in this week’s paper. Carrying on with my earlier sentiment about the book, I also enjoy the passage when Eric emerges from his apartment onto the street.
The tower gave him strength and depth. He knew what he wanted, a haircut, but stood a while longer in the soaring noise of the street and studied the mass and scale of the tower. The one virtue of its surface was to skim and bend the river light and mime the tides of open sky. There was an aura of texture and reflection. He scanned its length and felt connected to it, sharing the surface and the environment that came into contact with the surface, from both sides. A surface separates inside from out and belongs no less to one than the other. He’d thought about surfaces in the shower once.
Oh Eric, I bet you think about a lot of things in the shower.
Will you be pondering the concept of the “surface” this weekend? For Eric, I’ll give it a whirl. 😉