By Richard Gray
After the Fall offers a well timed and provocative exam of the influence and implications of Sep 11 and the struggle on terror on American tradition and literature.
- Presents the 1st precise interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of quandary
- Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
- Relates U.S. writing on the grounds that Sept. 11 to an important social and old alterations within the U.S. and in other places
- Places U.S. writing within the context of the reworked place of the U.S. in an international characterised through political, financial, and armed forces difficulty; transnational waft; the resurgence of spiritual fundamentalism; and the obvious triumph of world capitalism
Chapter 1 After the autumn (pages 1–19):
Chapter 2 Imagining catastrophe (pages 21–50):
Chapter three Imagining drawback (pages 51–83):
Chapter four Imagining the Transnational (pages 85–143):
Chapter five Imagining the drawback in Drama and Poetry (pages 145–192):
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Additional resources for After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11
To take the allusiveness first: McCarthy has never made any secret of just how deeply intertextual he takes all texts, including his own, to be. “The ugly fact is that books are made out of other books,” he declared once in a rare interview. “The novel depends for its life on other novels that have been written” (Woodward, 36). One critic has called McCarthy “a literary hybrid” (Ragan, 15). Another has remarked that reading one of McCarthy’s novels is “like strolling through a museum of English prose styles;” adding that the border trilogy appears to have been written “by the illegitimate offspring of Zane Grey and Flannery O’Connor” (Pilkington, 312, 318).
In Terrorist, by contrast, there is neither the same degree of imaginative involvement, getting inside the skin of the victim, nor anything like a similar measure of argumentative mediation, the witnessing or explanatory piecing together of personal or cultural motive. Quite simply, this brave attempt to imagine the other never really fits together as a meaningful story. The determining feature of trauma is that it is unsayable. What is traumatic is defined by what Caruth has called “the impossibility of … direct access” (Explorations in Memory, 4).
The fire? Yes it is. Where is it? I don’t know where it is. Yes you do. It’s inside you. It was always there. I can see it. (234) This fire is certainly “real” at certain moments in the narrative: when, for instance, father and son light an oil lamp found in a deserted and derelict yard. The lighting of the lamp, described in meticulous detail, is another moment of ritualistic and redemptive labor; and the lamp itself offers a literal if feeble defense against a gradually darkening world. But beyond these intimations of the saving grace of craft, and this literal dimension, there is a further, symbolic layering at work here.