After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11 by Richard Gray

By Richard Gray

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

  • Presents the 1st specific interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of predicament
  • Develops a well timed and provocative arguement approximately literature and trauma
  • Relates U.S. writing considering 11th of September to an important social and old adjustments within the U.S. and in other places
  • Places U.S. writing within the context of the reworked place of the U.S. in a global characterised through political, monetary, and army main issue; transnational go with the flow; the resurgence of spiritual fundamentalism; and the plain triumph of worldwide capitalism

Content:
Chapter 1 After the autumn (pages 1–19):
Chapter 2 Imagining catastrophe (pages 21–50):
Chapter three Imagining concern (pages 51–83):
Chapter four Imagining the Transnational (pages 85–143):
Chapter five Imagining the trouble in Drama and Poetry (pages 145–192):

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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.

It is also the first of his novels to be met with almost unanimous critical acclaim. Those who were less than impressed with his ninth novel, No Country for Old Men, greeted it with something pretty close to relief. Others – and these are so far in the majority among critics of The Road – have focused their attention, and their admiration, on what has been seen as a return to stylistic form and a return to the overwhelming questions that haunt so much of McCarthy’s earlier work. In a time of literary minimalism, when so many writers seem intent on pursuing a style of scrupulous meanness, McCarthy reverted in The Road to the rich and even baroque rhetoric of his novels Suttree and Blood Meridian.

It is, like all McCarthy’s fiction, haunted by the lives and writings of others, it is densely allusive and yet it is unmistakably the work of a fiercely original writer, swimming against the tide of literary fashion. It has the elemental quality of allegory and myth but also addresses issues that are ferociously contemporary, specific to the here and now. It declares the imminence, and perhaps the inevitability, of entropy, a world running down to inertia and oblivion, but it also offers a testament of faith in the will to meaning, the possibility of human intimacy and the simple, inextinguishable desire of the human animal to go on.

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