Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the transcendent state of mind and the evolving consciousness of the universe lies at the core of Don DeLillo's short novel Point Omega (Scribner). His story involves three men and two women and leaves us facing the impossibility of ever attaining this elevated, untested state. If it were not misleadingly simple, I would describe this beautiful and moving book as a story of frustrated desire.
It starts and ends with an anonymous man, perhaps in his early thirties, who has time on his hands. He spends his days in one gallery of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This gallery is filled with a huge screen on which Douglas Gordon's film 24 Hour Psycho is projected around the clock. Well, not exactly "around the clock," because the museum closes at the end of each day, and so the young man will never he able to see Gordon's complete (slowed-down) version of Hitchcock's film at a single viewing.
The principal character of the story is a scholar and a retired government planning official at the Pentagon. He has retired to seek tranquility and an intellectual perspective on life in a ramshackle house in the desert, but events around him will conspire against his search for peace. …