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Common Ground: Melodramas of 9/11


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Cvek, Sven. (2010). Common Ground: Melodramas of 9/11. In: Siting America/sighting modernity: essays in honor of Sonja Bašić. FF Press, Zagreb, pp. 149-163. ISBN 978-953-175-345-6

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By focusing on Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the article analyzes the social work of some popular US novels that incorporate the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a backdrop to family dramas. I argue that the basic narrative logic of these 9/11 fictions corresponds to the hegemonic emplotment of the event, and represents it as a critical moment in which personal, familial, and national history takes a turn towards self-realization. In that, Foer’s post-traumatic novel of formation enacts the process of the nation’s restorative mourning after 9/11. Inscribed in such a developmental narrative, the trauma of 9/11 becomes a point of suture between the personal and the communal, thus containing the political aspects of the event within the intimate sphere. Moreover, through its use of visual material, the novel points to the crucial role of the media images in the process of vicarious traumatization and societal normalization.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 08:16
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2014 21:57

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