Don DeLillo’s early novels explore the relationship between formal logic and literary form. In End Zone, DeLillo uses tautology as a linguistic tactic of diminishment to advance a larger aesthetic strategy of repleteness. The novel says less to show more. As a result, End Zone, like many of DeLillo’s other early novels, frequently represents states of silence and unspeakability. DeLillo’s early fiction shares these concerns with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s early philosophy, particularly the remarks on tautology, silence, and the limits of language in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. In their conclusions, End Zone and the Tractatus analogously seek to undo themselves to overcome the inherent limitations of logic and language.

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