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Image Re-presentation in Don DeLillo’s Point Omega

Chi-Min Chang


While technological advancement and artistic creations have amazingly diversified the (re-)presentation of images, infinite image proliferation becomes an irresistible trend. To resist the subsuming power of the image-laden society, the renewed perceptions and interpretations of the image presentation are explored both in artistic presentation and in literary writing. Point Omega is a convergence of such an attempt. The paper explores how the time-featured image in Point Omega activates new idea, sensuous responses, and self-perception. Point Omega represents Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho which is an adaptation of Hitchcock’s Psycho. By reframing the running speed to two frames a second, Gordon drastically challenges the familiar recognition and interpretation. Writing about Gordon’s work, DeLillo stresses the emergence of various perceptions, imaginations, and association in the video-watching process. No longer resting on the cultural critique on the media society as what has been done in his earlier works, DeLillo marks time as the prominent variable for the emergence of the new and the unknown.

    Moreover, DeLillo’s image representation highlights the physical condition which is both an essential feature of Gordon’s video installation and the hinge for DeLillo’s distinct writing. For one thing, the emergence of the new and the unthought lies in the interweaving between the spectator’s awareness and imagination of the physicality and his responses to the reframed image. For another, the physicality of the time-reframed image resonates with the desert underscored in the main story. In the story, DeLillo contends about the relation between the time-featured space and the transient self. The desert mirroring the time-featured image renders the distinctive conditions for different self-perception. Hence, the image representation in Point Omega proffers the condition for the unexpected and unthought, reconfigures the selfhood, and, significantly, enacts the alternative writing which trespasses from the filmic to the fictional, from the visual to the verbal.


image representation; 24-Hour Psycho; Time; Deleuze; Point Omega

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