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.
- Presents the 1st special interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of problem
- Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
- Relates U.S. writing given that Sep 11 to an important social and historic adjustments within the U.S. and somewhere else
- Places U.S. writing within the context of the remodeled place of the U.S. in a global characterised via political, monetary, and army challenge; transnational waft; the resurgence of non secular 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 difficulty (pages 51–83):
Chapter four Imagining the Transnational (pages 85–143):
Chapter five Imagining the difficulty in Drama and Poetry (pages 145–192):
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Additional info for After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11
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.
If that is so, then The Road is a symbolic narrative, a powerful but also slippery tale of something, some trauma that seems to resist telling. That same slipperiness is at work in the staple idiom and even the setting of the book. Spare, even skeletal descriptions lead up to closing passages that are rhetorically and intellectually daring; the narrative voice, at first sight, appears to be the voice of the main character, the father, but as the flow of thought and speech continues, that voice seems to segue into that of the author.
This might be the world after a nuclear holocaust, or it might not be. The point is that McCarthy both says and remains silent. The unnamable remains unnamed, except in its human consequences. The reason for this indeterminacy is simple. McCarthy is dealing with trauma; and, in the first instance, with trauma of a very immediate kind. indd 39 1/13/2011 7:13:51 PM Imagining Disaster the World Trade Center. And whereas writers like DeLillo, Kalfus, McInerney, Messud, and Schwartz try to domesticate, to shepherd that sense of crisis into the realms of the familiar, McCarthy’s alternative strategy in The Road is not to domesticate but to defamiliarize.