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Disturbing Noises – Haunting Sounds: Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist

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Disturbing Noises – Haunting Sounds: Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist Autistic, childlike and genderless Mr. Tuttle seems to be gifted with glossolalia, since he speaks in other people’s voices. Or he might be a ghost. While Don DeLillo’s novella The Body Artist (2001) tells the story of its protagonist Lauren’s traumatization and subsequent regaining of subjectivity, this article develops a reading of Mr. Tuttle as Lauren’s “sonic symptom.” As a projection of her psyche, the “sonic symptom” is the first step Lauren takes on the way to healing herself after her husband’s unexpected suicide. Her second step back to agency takes the shape of a seemingly obsessive-compulsive interaction with the computerized voice on an answering machine. The repeated calling, hanging up, calling back, hanging up without leaving a mess/age – this article contends, assisted by Sarah Kofman, Jacques Lacan, Kaja Silverman and Slavoj Žižek – is a mediated, up-dated and – most importantly – aural version of Freud’s predominantly visually organized fort/da-game.



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