DeLillo Digging through LIFE

In coming up with the format for the JLP book,  Don DeLillo’s Underworld was an inspiration for the non-chronological sequencing.  To some degree I paid homage to DeLillo by getting baseball into the book.  The prologue to Underworld is a stunning work based around the 1951 Bobby Thomson “Shot Heard Round the World” game between the Giants and Dodgers, and the broadcast of the game is featured.  Smith taped the broadcast of Game 1 of the 1960 World Series between the Pirates and Dodgers and I thought of DeLillo when I chose to include a piece of transcript from that tape.

Now there is another connection, still fleeting.  According to Dr. J. Todd Moye on the Baby Got Books site, the DeLillo archives at the University of Texas contain notebooks of notes jotted by DeLillo after leafing through issues of LIFE magazine from 1951, which was one of Smith’s prime years at LIFE.  It may have been his pinnacle, publishing four major essays including “Spanish Village” and “Nurse Midwife.”  I’d like to see any notes DeLillo made about those essays.

-Sam Stephenson

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