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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Noah Baumbach to adapt Don DeLillo’s White Noise? Know what the novel is about

Written at a time when consumerism was already rearing its head, White Noise, in many ways, talks about its excesses and our dependence on it

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | January 14, 2021 3:00:55 pm
Noah Baumbach with Greta Gerwig arrive at the Oscars in 2020. (Source: AP)

Adapting novels to films and series has become a routine practice now. And the latest news is that filmmaker Noah Baumbach is reportedly adapting Don DeLillo’s celebrated novel, The White Noise. It is believed to star actors Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, a report in The Film Stage states.

The 1985 book, which won the US National Book Award for Fiction, is often hailed as a hallmark of postmodernist literature. It centers around Jack Gladney, a pioneer in the field of Hitler studies, who teaches at a school called College-on-the-Hill. He is constantly obsessed with death. He and his wife, Babette (he has been married five times), are both terrified of it. They live in Blacksmith, a college town with their four offsprings from previous marriages: Heinrich, Steffie, Denise, and Wilder.

Death forms an integral part of the book as does the presence of an airborne toxic event, and Jack’s secret knowledge that his wife is partaking in an experimental study of a new psychopharmaceutical called Dylar.

Written at a time when consumerism was already rearing its head, White Noise, in many ways, talks about its excesses and our dependence on it.

Speaking about it to The New York Times, the author said, ”I thought of a college that had a department of Hitler studies and that led to death as a subject. I haven’t a clue where that thought came from, but it seemed innately comic, and everything sprang from it. I never felt that I was writing a comic novel before ‘White Noise.’ Maybe the fact that death permeates the book made me retreat into comedy.”

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