New York has been the inspiration and theme for creation by many writers and artists. Don DeLillo has spent most of his life in New York and Cosmopolis, published in 2003, particularly reveals his shrewd observation of the city. In addition to the streets and the complicated social interaction, what DeLillo focuses on is the liminal space interwoven among the factual, the virtual, and the empirical. The plot of the story has been spun around two major urban dimensions: one is the commercial world constructed by computer technology and the other is the urban space reflected and modulated by sensuous experience. What is worth exploring is they not only formulate a striking contrast but are intriguingly entangled. The protagonist, striding over these two facets of the city, appears to situate himself at life’s threshold. Getting in and out of any dimension is a kind of leaving, twisting, and alienating as well as longing and relying. The exploration of the liminality pivots on the concept of the body to see how the self oscillates between the virtual world of technology and the actual living space of the city—between the corporeal and the incorporeal. It is meant to present how the technologically-overwhelmed contemporary life and the actual life experience make up a kind of liminality, simultaneously portraying selfhood in the 21st-century cosmopolis.
KEYWORDS: city, liminal space, DeLillo, body, cyber capitalism
唐.迪立羅(Don DeLillo)一生大部分的創作時間都在紐約,作品也明顯地呈現他對這個國際大都會的觀察和省思,他在 2003 年發表的小說──《大都會》(Cosmopolis)就是典型的例子。迪立羅描繪的是,紐約的國際金融脈動及科技所架設、衍生的生活空間,其交織著現實的、虛擬的、親身體驗的和再現的生活,凸顯生命的閾限空間(liminal space)和狀態。故事脈絡就是這些不同的都會面向,相互交織形塑的城市臉譜。值得探討的是,他們既形成一種劇烈的反差,同時也相互糾結、衍生,也就是這個無所阻隔的網路商業世界,其實蘊含著相當的風險和危機,而實際的生活空間看似踏實、可掌握,卻也充滿著無法預料的驚奇及恐怖氛圍。主角橫跨於兩個不同層次的城市空間,猶如處於一種生命的門檻,進出任何一個面向都是一種出離、扭曲、及疏離,同時也有著吊詭式的渴望和依賴。本文將以閾限空間和身體的概念為探討的主軸,凸顯在科技的虛擬世界及真實的城市空間中,所形塑的都會生活,同時呈現自我在這空間中的不同面向和可能,了解迪立羅企圖藉由紐約的脈動所傳達的不同都會想像和體驗,及勾勒 21 世紀都會人生活的意圖。