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Title: Fiction in a time of terror : the post-9/11 works of Barth, Foer and Delillo
Authors: Kabbara, Diala
Advisors: Hall, Jonathan
Subjects: American fiction--21st century--History and criticism
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001, in literature
Issue Date: 2010
This dissertation examines three post-9/11 American novels as they bear on our conceptions of literature and what it can do in a time of terror. It proposes that John Barths The Book of Ten Nights and a Night, Jonathan Safran Foers Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Don DeLillos Falling Man employ specific approaches to language, narrative, meaning, and style, in an attempt to both resist and engage with the trauma of September 11. They suggest that the limits of language and the challenges of representation should not deter the writers from undertaking their tasks. In their attempt to get beyond the dilemma of accounting for a traumatic event, the novels use indirect, selfreflexive writing, complex narratives and other creative techniques. The main thrust of my thesis is that these attempts ultimately confirm the role of literature as a site of possible human connections, however momentary or fragmented. I use Jacques Derridas concept of the "impossible possibility of saying the event" to argue that although they are constantly haunted by their inability to represent the event, the novels explore ways to negotiate with the limits, with the impossible. Because they try to create a narrative out of the incomprehensible and to invent what is impossible to invent, the three novels are involved in an ethical attempt whose end-result might not – or cannot – be successful but which eventually asserts the human dimension of literature and the power of fiction in difficult times.
Includes bibliographical references (p.63-65).

Supervised by Dr. Jonathan Hall.
Rights: This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the personal and educational use exceptions must be obtained from the copyright holder
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:UOB Theses and Projects

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