The work of Don DeLillo and Philip Roth has been characterized as a turn to writing novels about lateness in a style that for both authors tends toward “less and less.” Their work manifests a relationship between lateness and style that departs both from canonical accounts of late style and from Theodor W. Adorno’s and Edward Said’s theories of late style as ironic anachronism. By conveying in prose style the relative decline and the contingent reduction that for Roth and DeLillo define lateness as a temporality, their novels find in lessness a motivated style for lateness. Furthermore, by reproducing in style the features of a particular historical temporality, their work suggests a method for reading the historicity of temporality through literary style.

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