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Title: Reading 9/11 : an analysis of the event and its literary representation in the novels of Frédéric Beigbeder, Jonathan Safran Foer and Don DeLillo
Author: Clemente, M.-C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2011
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The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the development of initial criticism on the early literary response to the September 11th attacks and the trauma they engendered. The first part of the thesis explores the specificity of the 9/11 event through the lens of trauma theory and other especially pertinent theories. Chapter I looks at the unique sequence of events on 11 September 2001. Basing its argument on Chapter I’s investigation of a possible overlap between reality and fiction during the hundred and two minutes of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Chapter II further focuses on the way the event erupted into the phenomenological world and traumatically disrupted subjectivities to ponder on an oft-eluded definition of 9/ll as a sublime event. Chapter III examines the figure of the ‘jumpers’, these men and women who were forced outside the World Trade Center by the unbearable inside conditions and who offered a glimpse of the invisible horror taking place within the towers. The second part studies the early novelistic response to 9/11 through three novels: Window on the World by Frédéric Beigbeder (2003), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (2005), and Falling Man by Don DeLillo (2007). These novels constitute but also depict an instant response to the event. Each chapter of the second part of the thesis focuses on a different aspect of the 9/11 trauma. Chapter IV examines the immediate response of Beigbeder to the attacks on the World Trade Center in Window on the World. Chapter V investigates the characteristics of 9/11 mourning by looking at the mourning process of Foer’s 9-year old protagonist in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Chapter VI analyses the figures of the 9/11 survivor in DeLillo’s Falling Man.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available