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Outlaws and SpiesLegal Exclusion in Law and Literature$
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Conor McCarthy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474455930

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455930.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

‘All Plots Tend to Move Deathward’: Plots and Consequences in Don DeLillo

‘All Plots Tend to Move Deathward’: Plots and Consequences in Don DeLillo

(p.134) 5 ‘All Plots Tend to Move Deathward’: Plots and Consequences in Don DeLillo
Outlaws and Spies

Conor McCarthy

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers the place of espionage and its consequences in the work of Don De Lillo. The discussion opens with a consideration of naïveté and danger in CIA intervention overseas as depicted in The Names. James Axton, an American in Greece, is perhaps the last to discover that he is working at one remove for the CIA, a role that may have placed his life, and those of others, at risk. If The Names suggests that American intelligence poses substantial risks for America and Americans, Libra brings that message home to the heart of the state itself in a fictionalized account of the Kennedy assassination. Here, the President's launching of covert operations against Cuba eventually turns back against him when a coalition led by disgruntled former CIA agents mount an attempt on the President's life, co-opting the inscrutable figure of Lee Harvey Oswald as a seeming lone radical. In this chapter’s final section, the discussion returns again to the subject of extralegal action by the state in a reading of Point Omega’s meditations on extraordinary rendition and torture, in a text centred on absences and death set against the backdrop of the Iraq war.

Keywords:   Spies, Espionage, Don DeLillo, CIA, Cold War, Kennedy assassination, War on Terror, Extraordinary rendition

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