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Is Murray Siskind a raving lunatic or a wise but somewhat eccentric man Does he ever have a point or is he just mindlessly rambling Hes neither of those things The first impression he gives is of someone whos in between but that proves not to be the case Hes actually a very cunning man one who has become the devil voice of Jack Gladneys conscience Eventually hed like to become Jack He covets not only his position and standing in the university but also his wife Babette and he makes no secret of it Why else would he do something to lewd as to sniff her hair and grope her the way he does He tells Jack that the only way to seduce a woman is with clear and open desire Well it dont get no clearer than that All those things become apparent later on First we find out who Murray Jay Siskind is Hes an ex-sportswriter from New York Hes Jewish He was briefly married once during his sportswriter days We know he is now a visiting lecturer on living icons at College-on-the-Hill Physically he is a stoop shouldered man with little round glasses and an Amish beard DeLillo 10 Hes hairy but does not have a moustache only a beard He dresses almost entirely in corduroy He likes his men simple and his women complicated He is trying to develop a vulnerability that women will find attractive DeLillo 21 but so far has only managed to create sneaky and lecherous expression For him sex seems very matter-of-fact like a business transaction Just flat out lust He even reads a magazine called American Transvestite Murray is by his own admission a solitary crank who marrons himself with a TV set and dozens of stacks of dust-jacketed comic books DeLillo 52 He shares a house across the street from an insane asylum with boarders who seem like they ought to
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