By Richard Gray

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

• provides the 1st specific interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of trouble
• Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
• Relates U.S. writing in view that September 11 to the most important social and ancient alterations within the U.S. and in different places
• locations U.S. writing within the context of the reworked place of the U.S. in an international characterised through political, fiscal, and army main issue; transnational glide; the resurgence of non secular fundamentalism; and the plain triumph of worldwide capitalism

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

Example text

He wanted to rake in chips and stack them. The game mattered, the stacking of chips, the eye count, the play and dance of hand and eye. He was identical with these things (DeLillo, 228). This is not the hysteria, the barely expressible disruption of the nervous system to which both Kalfus and McInerney allude. It is another form of emotional numbness. And the trouble is that the prose is similarly, symptomatically numb. The insistent repetition never gets us beyond the obvious, as outlined in the first two sentences here.

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).

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.

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