This reading presents an examination of the relationship between history (specifically, historical trauma) and the representation of such a history through language. Wilcox addresses the limitations of language as a signifier, claiming that “Delillo’s novels convey a sense of the impossibility of language ever being able to grasp the non-linguistic, the historical referent in its pristine reality” (340). He draws on Lacan’s conception of “the real” to understand this limited scope of language in forming a narrative of history, explaining that the traumatic experience produces an “unapproachable void” which “resists symbolization” (345).
How does Delillo’s Libra ask us to think about language in relation to history and the formation of narratives? In what we have read so far, do you see evidence of the historical traumatic resisting symbolization? What can we make of the fictional nature of this text which attempts to deal with a very real historical event?