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History, Biography, and Narrative in Don DeLillo's Libra

Publication Date
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
  • 200506 North American Literature
  • Don Delillo
  • Libra
  • Kennedy Assassination
  • Theories Of History
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An analysis of Don DeLillo’s Libra for two main forms of desire for plot. The first of these is Lee Oswald’s desire to attain a sense of unity of self. Oswald is frustrated in this desire by the workings of language. The text demonstrates that the subject is structured in and through language, in the way in which Oswald functions as a sign. The second form of desire for plot is Nicholas Branch’s narrative desire to write the definitive history of the Kennedy assassination. Like Oswald’s, Branch’s desire is frustrated. He is unable to write this account because he cannot create a narrative from the information about the assassination.

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