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History, Emotion, and the Body: Mourning in Post-9/11 Fiction
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History, Emotion, and the Body: Mourning in Post-9/11 Fiction

Author: Benjamin Bird Affiliation: University of Leeds
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Literature Compass, v4 n3 (May 2007): 561-575
Other Databases: WorldCat
Summary:
This article examines the way in which a number of US fiction writers have responded to the political challenge of 9/11 in ways that counter the militaristic response of their government and insist on the necessity for a process of mourning and self-examination that military action is intended to displace. The fictions I examine emphasize the need for the contemporary US to sharpen its sense of history, in  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Benjamin Bird Affiliation: University of Leeds
ISSN:1741-4113
DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2007.00437.x
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5157074473
Notes: Literature Compass 4/3 (2007): 561-575, 10.1111/j.1741-4113.2007.00437.x
Number of References: 22
Number of Words: 0000
Awards:
Other Titles: History, Emotion, and the Body
Responsibility: History, Emotion, and the Body

Abstract:

This article examines the way in which a number of US fiction writers have responded to the political challenge of 9/11 in ways that counter the militaristic response of their government and insist on the necessity for a process of mourning and self-examination that military action is intended to displace. The fictions I examine emphasize the need for the contemporary US to sharpen its sense of history, in particular, to develop greater understanding of the prehistory of 9/11 and reconsider the past in light of the Al-Qaeda attacks. They insist on the need for reflection on the body, both as a site of trauma and as a palimpsest-like history of the human subject, which may be examined for clues to the interrelation of past and present. Moreover, they insist on the need to consider the close connection between American corporations and violence, especially that which is abetted or provoked by corporations in the wider culture. I include discussion of four prose works: ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’, by Jonathan Safran Foer; ‘The Good Life’, by Jay McInerney; ‘Cosmopolis’, by Don DeLillo, and ‘The Suffering Channel’, by David Foster Wallace, a novella-length piece from his last collection of stories ‘Oblivion’.
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