9/11 Essay Outline

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In (1988), as we might recall, this tendency is almost programmed into the interior workings of the CIA that in the novel’s overpowering vision leads to President Kennedy’s assassination.

Elsewhere, De Lillo is focused on the forms of either right-wing or left-wing terrorism, whereas in his post-9/11 essays and novels he grapples with the epistemology of the latest brand of terrorism.

In order to accomplish this goal, the author marshals his evidence in the chapters that both reinstate and reconfigure the fluctuating, ever expanding or shrinking boundaries of the textual archive that is his interest.

but from motives that are themselves cast as a point of analysis in Cvek’s approach.

Trauma theory is productively ruffled by concurrent reading approaches of new American studies, introducing categories of empire, political theories, nationalism studies, ethnic and postcolonial, and queer readings.

Cultural theory, and its offshoot of visuality and media studies, offers another point of entry into the archive under examination.

Even though the book invites us, in particular in chapters one and two, to give due attention to the ways the dynamics, temporal and psychic, of trauma has been used to shore up the wounded national body trying to work through the traumatic event, it is in chapter four that a historically minded perspective upsets a presumed balance between the world and the nation.

Spiegelman uses the graphic form to remind his readers of things that the US will have forgotten, in the sense applied in trauma theory, only to be reactivated by a trigger event occurring later, namely, the terrorist attacks.

Despite the grain of trauma theory the author’s further examination of a confluence of some aspects of trauma and its textualization in the Bildungsroman and infused with a heavily melodramatic mode (Foer, Messud, Glass, Updike, Wasserstein, La Bute are among those cited or analyzed at length), seem to suggest a task of national homogenization successfully performed and resulting in “an increasingly regulated political space in the wake of 9/11” (50).

Another important intervention the book suggests for the growing body of work on 9/11 is to situate the debates on the scope of the event at the intersection of the national and the global, which is ostensibly also the way to treat the questions of temporality and causality in connection with and beyond 9/11.


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