Underworld Social Concerns

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In a 1997 interview on Terry Gross's "Fresh Air" radio program, Don DeLillo remarked that "toxic waste" is "one of the 'underworlds' to which the title of this novel refers." Plutonium, he notes, "bears the name of Pluto, the God of the Underworld."

However, DeLillo's eleventh novel—twelfth, if you count the pseudonymous Amazons he wrote in 1980 under the pen name Cleo Birdwell—is about more than nuclear waste.

As "waste analyst" Nick Shay says near the end of the book, "waste is the secret history, the underhistory," and in Underworld, garbage, both toxic and non-toxic, becomes a metaphor that resonates through the public and private histories of the Cold War era. Underhistories of baseball, film, modern art, global capitalism, and even language itself radiate through this novel. An epic that spans in time from 1951 to the 1990s and in geography from New York to Kazakhstan, Underworld...

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This section contains 2,903 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Underworld Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Underworld from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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