Delicious quotes in Rene Rodrigez’s David Cronenberg feature:
“It’s amusing to go back and read some of the reviews of that novel, because a lot of the critics said ‘Oh, these demonstrations on Wall Street are so unconvincing!’ ” Cronenberg says. “That stuff seemed like fantasy and made it difficult to relate to. And now, of course, things have changed.”
The prophetic nature of Cosmopolis was the least of what fascinated him about DeLillo’s book, he says.
“I think artists just have highly sensitive antennae, maybe a bit more sensitive than other people. So you are sensitive to things in the air that are going to manifest and evolve naturally in the future. You become an accidental prophet. It’s not something you aspire to do.
“There are certain sci-fi writers who pride themselves on debating the future. Arthur C. Clarke was very proud he predicted there would be information satellites orbiting the Earth before they existed. But my interest in Cosmopolis had nothing to do with its prescient nature.”
Cronenberg says that when he spoke to DeLillo about the novel, the author revealed the book was born out of mundane questions. “He was interested by the idea of limos. Why would someone have such a long, clumsy vehicle on the tight streets of New York? Where do all those limos go at night? Stuff like that. He wasn’t anticipating an economic meltdown when he sat down to write.”