debbie millman

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Both Brilliant: White Noise on White Noise, Two Interpretations

"White Noise on White Noise" is a collection of 36 randomly selected fragments of text from Don DeLillo's novel White Noise. The identifying details of each fragment - the page number it appears on, the line number to begin quoting from and the number of lines to quote - were selected using a random number generator. The fragments appear in page number order, to provide an experience akin to quickly browsing through the novel in a bookstore.

The text of each fragment has been hand-annotated with hypertext links to the World Wide Web, chosen by Michael Sippey to have relevance to the passage being quoted.

From Sippey's post: "I used the Viking Penguin hard cover edition. Page numbers were randomly chosen between 3 and 326. Line numbers were randomly chosen between 1 and 36. The number of lines to quote in each fragment was randomly chosen between 1 and 10. There are 36 fragments in all, based on the number of lines of text found on a full page."

Enclosed are the first ten selections from White Noise on White Noise, and then, for some levity, a parody of Delillo's writing in White Noise as interpreted by the funny folks at Saturday Night Live.

selection 1 of 36
start on page 5, line 30, and go for 8 lines
miscellaneous swarming air of families. I watch her all the time doing things in measured sequence, skillfully, with seeming ease, unlike my former wives, who had a tendency to feel estranged from the objective world -- a self-absorbed and high-strung bunch, with ties to the intelligence community.
"It's not the station wagons I wanted to see. What are the people like? Do the women wear plaid skirts, cable-knit sweaters? Are the men in hacking jackets? What's a hacking jacket?"

selection 2 of 36
start on page 23, line 23, and go for 3 lines
if these people could see us through a telescope we might look like we were two feet two inches tall and it might be raining yesterday instead of today.

selection 3 of 36
start on page 29, line 10, and go for 7 lines
"A tautness, a suspense. First-rate. I will choose."
"I will read," she said. "But I don't want you to choose anything that has men inside women, quote-quote, or men entering women. 'I entered her.' 'He entered me.' We're not lobbies or elevators. 'I wanted him inside me,' as if he could crawl completely in, sign the register, sleep, eat, so forth. Can we agree on that? I don't care what these people do as long as they don't enter or get

selection 4 of 36
start on page 43, line 26, and go for 4 lines
"Pretty good. I think I got him cornered."
"What do you know about this fellow? I've been meaning to ask."
"Like who did he kill? That's the big thing today. Concern for

selection 5 of 36
start on page 46, line 12, and go for 5 lines
blessed my life. I felt its support and approval. The system hardware, the mainframe sitting in a locked room in some distant city. What a pleasing interaction. I sensed that something of deep personal value, but not money, not that at all, had been authenticated and confirmed. A deranged person was escorted from the

selection 6 of 36
start on page 56, line 34, and go for 9 lines
"Just in case what?"
"Just in case I faint from hunger. Let's sneak up on some ribs why don't we? You got your leg men, you got your breast men. Babette, what do you say? I'm about semiprepared to slaughter my own animal."
"How many jobs is this anyway?"
"Don't pester me, Denise."
"Never mind, I don't care, do what you want."
Bob took the three older kids to the Wagon Wheel. I drove

selection 7 of 36
start on page 67, line 13, and go for 6 lines
It's a simple case of misuse."
Grappa casually tossed half a buttered roll at Lasher, hitting him on the shoulder. Grappa was pale and baby-fattish and the tossed roll was an attempt to get Lasher's attention.
Grappa said to him, "Do you ever brush your teeth with your finger?"

selection 8 of 36
start on page 69, line 16, and go for 1 line
Little Richard's personal bodyguard and had led security details

selection 9 of 36
start on page 70, line 27, and go for 2 lines
"Hitler was a lazy kid. His report card was full of unsatisfactorys. But Klara loved him, spoiled him, gave him the attention his father

selection 10 of 36
start on page 114, line 1, and go for 1 line
Steffie washed her hands at the kitchen sink and went upstairs.

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Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at FastCompany.com and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on DesignObserver.com. In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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