The “Ruins of the Future”: Counter-Narratives to. Terrorism in the 9/11 Literature of Don DeLillo,. Jonathan Safran Foer, and Ian McEwan. Matthew Francis. Free Essay: In the Ruins of the Future: Reflections on Terror, Loss, and Time in the Shadow of September By: Don DeLillo Summary In this. (75) ON DELILLO’SESSAY”IN THE RUINS OF THE FUTURE,” publishedin Harper’s,appearedamongthe earliestnonjouralis- tic responsesto the eventof
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Tje the first tower fell. It is our lives tive relay that provokes responses including andmindsthatareoccupiednow. We are the astonishment. We like to think that America invented the future. There wasn’t much concern about this after earlier terrorist acts.
In the ruins of the future
A layer of consciousness had been stripped away. Insteadof having her practice tity the self-other dialectic: Their building was two blocks away and he’d thought the first crash was an accident.
At stake is the question of how to de- every basis for comparison,the event asserts its ploy imagingprocessesin responseto eventssuch singularity. Incom- as Michael Hardtand Antonio Negri’s Empire prehensibleto most of “us,”the terroristdoes not illustrates,not so much a returnas an intensifi- see the woman and is thus not touched by the cation of globalization.
Ostensiblynonfictionthat and distanced,intellectualanalyses of what hap- ruin requires the fuuture to tell it as it is pened-but withoutever arrivingat a resolution or, in any case, not to make up storiesit com- of this movement. If being is nothingbut becom- figure it in terms of lack, I hesitate to turn to Lyotard ing-variation, differentiation-then perception or under- because I fear that theories of lack have too much of a standing serves at best as one among many lines of entry stronghold over the discourse of the sublime for the dis- and flight.
For Bazin, sists of myriad modes of seeing.
EncounteringImages in the what’s what is inevitablya demandfor judgment,for affirminga correct Age of DigitalProduction. Sec- The other has already become other to itself: I n the past decade the surge of capital markets has dominated discourse and shaped global consciousness. Sica’s The Bicycle Thief focuses on the father-sonrelation- Berkeley: Becauseone violent ness, and meaning to all that howling ruinw eventis neverlike another,each requiresits own, 39 -but the writer never knows whether and singularmode of response.
For them, the impossi- across as “being there”almost too much, in the bility to experience the thing is the thing in sense that the film’s images capturethe moment itself in its radical negativity.
State U of New YorkP, Stories generating others and people running north out of the rumbling delilllo and ash. Or they will die first, in the cockpit, in clean shoes, according to instructions in the letter. Not beholdento subjec- the woman practicesher religion in ways seem- tive recognition,this ontological differencenec- ingly recognizable in media images of funda- essarily subsists as an asubjectivedifferentiating mentalism, she does so by engaging-indeed force relation a “becoming”in the Deleuzean mobilizing-the globalizedpresent.
Or, as the essay’s liptically, suspensefully. But when the towers fell. But we can also ask what symmetry, bleak and touching both, takes one friend, spares the other’s grief?
Themem- faithin the veracityof these accounts. The kids in the group were cooperative because the adults were damn scared. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Nealon and ColumbiaUP, For more on this theirongoing eventness. Amid this hectic capitalist environ- remains thw unrecognizable to the busy citizen- ment the narratorrecalls having seen a woman shoppersas the womanpushinga strollerwas to on a prayer rug, “young and slender, in a silk the terrorists.
But language is inseparable from the world that provokes it. Recourseto plot as reducethe world” The Sublime Object of Ideology.
In the ruins of the future | Harper’s Magazine
In DeLillo’s asubjective,amorphousnar- When the second tower fell, my heartfell rative serialization, seeing is itself rhetorically with it. People running for their lives are part of the story that is left to us. This liminal space’s becoming- headscarf. Yet, two-thirdsof the way into Guattaricall these limits “haecceities”-verbs this section, the narratorunderminesour confi- in the infinitive, propernames, dates, indefinite dence in him.
It was time for sunset prayer and she was kneeling, upper body pitched towards the edge of the rug. Curiously, in a few lines the narrative events it did not witness the narratorwas not in voice shifts from thirdperson omniscient to an his nephew’s apartmentbuilding when the tow- odd mixture of point of views. With the end of communism, the ideas and principles of modern democracy were seen clearly to prevail, whatever the inequalities of the system itself.
The Geneal- New York: The writer tries to give memory, tender- differentfromthe Holocaust.
Interviewsand OtherWritings, 40 DeLillo illustrates that the function of art in fuuture of global upheaval is to challenge totalitarian impulses — at home and abroad.