Metamodern Subjectivities in Don DeLillo's The Body Artist: Arborescent and Rhizomatic Subjectivities

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Tehran

2 Department of English Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



According to some critics, the modernist novels are claimed to just present modern characters and postmodernist novels solely show the postmodern ones. However, the protagonists of Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist (2001) are simultaneously both modern and postmodern. The purpose of this research is to study the protagonists of this novel to go beyond the predestined conventions. As Metamodernism is based on the oscillation between modernism and postmodernism, the study applies Vermeulen and Akker's theories on Metamodernism (2010) to survey juxtapositions between modernism and postmodernism in this novel. Besides, Deleuze and Guattari’s Arborescent and Rhizomatic Subjectivities (1987) are applied to deeply analyze the characters. The findings of this study show that the protagonists of DeLillo’s novel are in the process of losing self and becoming the other. They swing like a pendulum between the characteristics of individuality and multiplicity, being modern and becoming postmodern, being oneself and becoming other, staying arborescent and turning into Rhizome. Therefore, the main characters of The Body Artist, Lauren and Mr. Tuttle, are Metamodern.


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