By Richard Gray
After the Fall offers a well timed and provocative exam of the influence and implications of Sep 11 and the warfare on terror on American tradition and literature.
- Presents the 1st unique interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of quandary
- Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
- Relates U.S. writing due to the fact that Sept. 11 to an important social and old adjustments within the U.S. and in different places
- Places U.S. writing within the context of the reworked place of the U.S. in a global characterised through political, fiscal, and army drawback; transnational float; the resurgence of spiritual fundamentalism; and the plain triumph of world capitalism
Chapter 1 After the autumn (pages 1–19):
Chapter 2 Imagining catastrophe (pages 21–50):
Chapter three Imagining problem (pages 51–83):
Chapter four Imagining the Transnational (pages 85–143):
Chapter five Imagining the problem in Drama and Poetry (pages 145–192):
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Extra resources for After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11
This is a landscape of nightmare, certainly, but it is also perhaps East Tennessee, the author’s Appalachian birthplace. The journey down from the mountains occurs in a border territory, between substantial fact and surreal dream, where the author can negotiate fear. This is a map of that sense of dread, generated in the Western consciousness by 9/11, and its aftermath, which is precise in both its geographical and mental coordinates because it refuses the easy option of the immediate. The intertextuality that is such a deep-rooted feature of McCarthy’s work adds to our sense of the text as a border country.
The family, with its “little boy” and “little girl,” in their symmetry and the feelings of security they generate, seem to offer a way out, an emotional haven. It is as if, at this moment, McCarthy has withdrawn into the sheltering confines of American myth: a myth that is, in this case, a curious but not uncommon mix of the heroic and the domestic. The whole novel could be seen, among other things, as a covert assault on American exceptionalism, but this moment temporarily drags the narrative back into the consolations of a separate and special national destiny.
Fire in The Road articulates no more, and no less, than the sense of an innate human vitality, an ardency of heart, the simple, fundamental continuation of the spark of life in a world that otherwise seems irretrievably lost and dead. Here, McCarthy seems to be echoing something like these lines from one of Wallace Stevens’s most famous and notable poems, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour”: How high that highest candle lights the dark. Out of this same light, out of the central mind, We make a dwelling in the evening air, In which being there together is enough.