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Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum By Marc Schuster ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Don DeLillo, Jean Baudrillard, and the Consumer Conundrum

Introduction

The Number Justifies Itself:
Don DeLillo,
Jean Baudrillard,
and Consumer Culture

Through much of Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis, protagonist Eric Packer rides a stretch limousine through the streets of Manhattan. His journey takes him past a presidential motorcade, a pop star's funeral procession, and a violent political demonstration. Along the way, Eric receives many visitors, including his proctologist, his currency analyst, his chief of finance, and his security advisor. He also makes time for a number of sexual encounters both within and beyond the confines of the limousine. Yet for all of Eric's wealth, he lacks any real connection to the world at large. His grasp of world events is based entirely on economic models, his sense of culture revolves around spectacle, and he rarely conceives of himself in more than the most superficial of terms—net worth and personal appearance,