Point Omega by Don DeLillo 117 pages
Here at Finish It, we introduced you to Don DeLillo’s 832-page “Underworld.” With that under your belt, it’s time for a fun-size Finish It – this time DeLillo’s “Point Omega,” at a blink-of-an-eye 117 page clip.
In short? It’s about a secret war advisor and a young filmmaker.
Well before the book graced shelves, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin coined the term Omega Point, described as a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving.
The novel records the exchanges between a retired academic, Elster, and a documentarian, Jim. Elster, at the end of his storied career as a scholar and wartime philosophizer for the U.S. government, retreats to the desert to enter his final stage of personal consciousness and introversion – his own Omega Point.
Finley’s goal is to persuade Elster to make a one-take film with Elster as its single character – “Just a man and a wall.”
The novel’s framed by scenes of an art installation by Douglas Gordon, shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006, entitled “24 Hour Psycho.” In it, Hitchcock’s movie is slowed down to complete a single showing over 24 hours. This stands as a reference point for the novel’s many meditations on time. “Point Omega” is a small, yet intense novel that emphasizes that the important things in life are not the big sweeping events, but the small moments and micro-moments that we live; the type of things that make time stand still.
Perhaps he presents his ideas in such a condensed format because he wants us to slow down and read them again. You can read this in a day, but when you do, slow down and really pay attention to DeLillo, I think you will be rewarded.