By Richard Gray
'After the Fall' offers a well timed and provocative exam of the influence and implications of 11th of September and the warfare on terror on American tradition and literature.
• offers the 1st special interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of challenge
• Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
• Relates U.S. writing due to the fact Sep 11 to an important social and ancient alterations within the U.S. and somewhere else
• locations U.S. writing within the context of the remodeled place of the U.S. in an international characterised via political, financial, and armed forces trouble; transnational go with the flow; the resurgence of spiritual fundamentalism; and the obvious triumph of worldwide capitalism
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Extra info for After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11
Indd 41 1/13/2011 7:13:51 PM Imagining Disaster have suggested, to historicize its meanings, to connect it to that fear and sense of impotence that haunts the United States, and perhaps the West, in the early years of the twenty-first century. But it also compels us, through the multiple signification of the image of the waste land, to measure the gap that has perhaps always existed between the grounds of our existence and human acts and ceremonies; we are slipped the suggestion that to be human is, and always has been, to be stray and sightless, trapped in a landscape that is there in its bleak surfaces and yet not there in its deeper significances – abruptly at hand but also unseen.
The sense of déjà vu that both this passage and the novel as a whole inspire only compounds the problem. This account of a gambler seeking shelter from the storm in the simple rituals of cardplay lacks – to name just two writers being echoed here – both the passionate intensity of Dostoevsky and the cold eye of Joan Didion. Elsewhere, another character in Falling Man turns to the rituals of religion, falling prey to the will to believe in a way that Wallace Stevens would surely have understood.
Indd 42 1/13/2011 7:13:51 PM Imagining Disaster a still point in the turning, tumultuous world that his characters inhabit. The care, the precision with which the actions of the father are described echoes the care taken with the actions themselves. The father is absorbed in this moment and this activity; so is the prose and so, as a consequence, is the reader. And the precision and attentiveness of action and style echo, in turn, other, earlier moments in works by McCarthy’s literary forefathers (and they are nearly all forefathers here): the description of the crew working on riveting and repair to the vessel in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902), the devotion of Nick Adams to the duties of the wilderness in Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time (1925), Cash Bundren’s loving account of the process of building a coffin for his mother in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930).
After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11 by Richard Gray