By Georgiana Banita
Have the terrorist assaults of September eleven shifted the ethical coordinates of latest fiction? and the way may perhaps this kind of shift, mirrored in narrative options and kinds, relate to different issues and traits rising with the globalization of literature? This booklet pursues those questions via works written within the wake of 9-11 and examines the complicated intersection of ethics and narrative that has outlined a good portion of British and American fiction over the last decade.
Don DeLillo, Pat Barker, Aleksandar Hemon, Lorraine Adams, Michael Cunningham, and Patrick McGrath are one of the authors Georgiana Banita considers. Their paintings illustrates how post-9/11 literature expresses an ethics of equivocation—in formal parts of narrative, in a fancy scrutiny of justice, and in stressful dialogues linking this fiction with the bigger political panorama of the period. via a wide old and cultural lens, Plotting Justice unearths hyperlinks among the narrative ethics of post-9/11 fiction and occasions previous and following the terrorist attacks—events that outlined the final 1/2 the 20 th century, from the Holocaust to the Balkan battle, and those who September 11 induced, from struggle in Afghanistan to the Abu Ghraib scandal. hard the rhetoric of the battle on terror, the publication honors the ability of literature to articulate ambiguous sorts of resistance in ways in which reconfigure the imperatives and tasks of narrative for the twenty-first century.
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Extra info for Plotting Justice: Narrative Ethics and Literary Culture after 9/11
For Miller, reading is a transformative act that defers to the heterogeneity of a text and its potential for dislocation and surprise rather than to the historical predispositions (derived from extratextual evidence) we might bring to bear on literature. While for Miller the literary text is free of determinate ethical content, the act of reading, which “cannot be accounted for by the social and historical forces that impinge on it” (8), nevertheless becomes ethical by virtue of its individual, particular power.
In another essay she reiterates her claim that “the return to moral reflection in contemporary literary theory is in fact a double return: the renewed pursuit of ethics has been accompanied by a new celebration of literature” (“Aesthetics” 896). In defining post-9/11 literature as a potent ethical force, I rely on her insights while suggesting that contemporary literature in particular echoes the theoretical work that concerns Hale. My book thus gives precedence, in a way that Hale does not, to the idea of new fiction as a site of “new ethical” transaction and contestation.
Although Hungerford’s essay does not refer to the terrorist attacks or their aftermath, her assessment provides a useful starting point in historicizing post-9/11 literature on a number of fronts. While “post-45” refers less to the aftermath of a discrete event than to the long throes of a waning conflict—the march of cultural forces abandoning a battlefield—Hungerford tellingly begins her analysis of the contemporary moment with a reference to the “genuine historical transformation” marked (more or less directly, more or less causally) by the events “on or about 9 November 1989” (410).
Plotting Justice: Narrative Ethics and Literary Culture after 9/11 by Georgiana Banita