Dr. Alex E. Blazer

Department of English & Rhetoric

Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA 31061

alex.blazer@gcsu.edu

alexeblazer.com

 

Logos Cowboys: Postmodern Football and Post-Postmodern War

in Don DeLillo's End Zone and Ben Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

 

In 1972, during the Vietnam War, Don DeLillo published End Zone, a postmodern novel about a football player at Logos College who fantasizes about nuclear war. In 2012, during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, Ben Fountain published Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, a post-postmodern novel about a twenty-year-old war hero being celebrated during a Dallas Cowboys' football game. After comparing DeLillo's and Fountain's similar metaphors of football and war, the paper concludes that End Zone's Wittgensteinian, at times farcical, play with the language of football and the rhetorical truth of war ultimately contrasts with Billy Lynn's satire of sports patriotism and the unironic, decimating violence of war. Finally, the two novels represent two periodic stages of response to war: While DeLillo's postmodern literature values irony and play as an absurdist response to the political obfuscation of the Vietnam Era, Fountain's post-postmodern development counters the ideological spectacle of endless war with sincere disillusionment.

 

This abstract summarizes my presentation, "Logos Cowboys: Postmodern Football and Post-Postmodern War in Don DeLillo's End Zone and Ben Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." Southeast Coastal Conference on Languages & Literatures. Georgia Coastal Center, Savannah, GA. 26 Mar. 2015.