After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11 by Richard Gray

By Richard Gray

'After the Fall' provides a well timed and provocative exam of the effect and implications of Sept. 11 and the conflict on terror on American tradition and literature.

• offers the 1st unique interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of obstacle
• Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
• Relates U.S. writing due to the fact 11th of September to an important social and ancient alterations within the U.S. and in different places
• areas U.S. writing within the context of the reworked place of the U.S. in a global characterised through political, financial, and army trouble; transnational float; the resurgence of non secular fundamentalism; and the plain triumph of worldwide capitalism

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Extra resources for After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11

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That is, until the end of the narrative; then, something curious happens. The father dies. The boy stays for three days by his “cold and stiff ” body. indd 45 1/13/2011 7:13:51 PM Imagining Disaster The man that hove into view… was dressed in a gray and yellow ski parka. He carried a shotgun upside down over his shoulder on a braided leather lanyard and he wore a nylon bandolier filled with shells for the gun. A veteran of old skirmishes, bearded, scarred across his cheek and the bone stoven and the one eye wandering.

In both Native Son and Invisible Man, an emotional engagement that makes the prose sometimes seem to palpitate with fear is underwritten by passionate analytical insight; there is dramatic immediacy but it is rhetorically and structurally framed. 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.

McCarthy’s strategies for dealing with the ghosts that haunt the twenty-first century, particularly in the West and especially in America, may not be startlingly new. Formally what is at work here, after all, is the Romantic belief in deferral (which accounts for the slipperiness of idiom), the Symbolist commitment to what Mallarme called “that part of speech which is not spoken” (21) (“the ideal is to suggest the object,” Mallarme said, because it is the “perfect use of this mystery which constitutes the symbol” (38) ) and the Modernist conviction that the use of what Frank Kermode called “the Image as radiant truth” might lead to the creation “out of a number of words” of “a single new word which is total in itself and foreign to language” (2, 43).

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