Don DeLillo's cinematic imaginary: from A(mericana) to Z(ero K)

Paul Sheehan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In his fictional works and in interviews, Don DeLillo has always been open and forthcoming about what the cinema has meant to him, as a writer. This article plots the development of a ‘cinematic imaginary’ in DeLillo’s works, by focusing on his ability to devise various kinds of uncanny, para-cinematic artefacts. Three novels in particular–Americana, Running Dog and Underworld–are based around elusive, enigmatic films-in-the-making, in which (filmic) genre asserts itself and the influence of Jean-Luc Godard continues to be felt. The discussion concludes on an elegiac note, as DeLillo moves away from the cinematic towards a different kind of imaginary in his late work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)1685-1705
Number of pages21
JournalTextual Practice
Issue number10
Early online date10 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Americana
  • DeLillo
  • Eisenstein
  • Godard
  • Running Dog
  • Underworld


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