Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.792176
Title: Deconstructing frames : difference in global Anglophone fiction after 9/11
Author: O'Gorman, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 6587
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
Many works of '9/11 fiction' have attempted to counteract the 'us and them' identity binaries propounded by both the Bush administration and Islamist extremists after 9/11. Often these works proclaim a kind of empathy of the sort Ian McEwan described shortly after the event. As he put it: 'Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and the beginning of morality'. However, novels about 9/11 have often tended to perpetuate 'us and them' identity binaries themselves. In contrast to McEwan, this thesis argues that there are a number of contemporary texts that do not straightforwardly generate empathy, but have begun to question the discursive frameworks within which difference is conceptualised. I argue that they do this by blurring the boundaries between the self and the other, drawing attention to the element of the other within the self, as well as of the self within the other. In this deconstruction of difference, categories of East and West, American and non-American, and Muslim and non-Muslim are productively challenged. My thesis finds this deconstruction at work in an eclectic range of novels, including What Is the What by Dave Eggers (2006), Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (2009), Point Omega by Don DeLillo (2010), and Open City by Teju Cole (2011). It is also evident in texts by other authors, including Nadeem Aslam, Mohsin Hamid, Hari Kunzru, Jonathan Lethem, Kevin Powers and Salman Rushdie. The thesis is divided into five chapters, organised in a way that begins in the United States but gradually becomes more transnational, slowly 'unanchoring' itself from the time and place of the 9/11 attacks. In employing such a structure, I hope to show how my chosen novels infuse the event with a strong sense of historicity by, in Kamila Shamsie's words, 'entwining it with other stories'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.792176  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 9/11 fiction ; deconstruction ; Judith Butler ; Transnational fiction ; Frames
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