Don Delillo’s Point Omega; Ecstasy and Inertia in a Hyperreal World: A Baudrillardian Reading

Faeze Yegane, Farid Parvaneh


This paper aims to present a Baudrillardian reading of Don Delillo’s Point Omega in the framework of Baudrillard’s definition of the contemporary world as ‘hyperreal’ and also his twin concepts of ‘ecstasy and inertia’. According to Baudrillard, the contemporary time is the hyperreal era in which subjects do not have access to ‘real’ primarily because they are supplied with the ‘simulations’ first and then with the ‘real’ entity and probably never confronted with the ‘real’ itself through media, advertisements, and virtual world. Thus, the perception they have from incidents, objects, places and even other people is ‘hyperreal’; edited, censored, beautified and exaggerated versions of reality; more real than real. In this study Point Omega will be examined as Delillo’s ‘hyperreal’ version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho since the movie is screened in the course of the novel and despite the similarities between the novel and the movie they end contrastingly. Symbolically ‘real’ is not found in the novel due to ‘Mobius spiraling negativity’ which is one of the features of Baudrillard’s definition of ‘hyperreal’ age. Baudrillard believes in the triumph of objects over subjects. While the object’s world is perpetually cultivating frenziedly, objects and technologies begin to dominate the stupefied subjects consequently he states when the objects are moving toward their ‘ecstasy’, the subjects are stricken in ‘inertia’. This supremacy of objects and technologies will be displayed in Point Omega regarding Richard Elster’s inert behavior and reaching the ‘omega point’ that Teilhard de Chardin envisions for human race is rendered impossible due to Elster’s destiny in the framework of Baudrillard’s concept of evolution.  



Ecstasy, Inertia, Hyperreality, Baudrillard, Don Delillo, Point Omega, Omega Point, Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred Hitchcock.

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