Terrorism has long been a popular subject for American fiction writers. This book argues that terrorism in 1990s novels by Paul Auster, Philip Roth, and Bret Easton Ellis serves as a key trope to interrogate the limits of writing and the power of literature. Based on the complex literary and philosophical thought of Maurice Blanchot, this study deals with the writer’s terrorist temptation, language’s investment in violence, and literature’s negotiation of radical alterity. Auster’s, Roth’s, and Ellis’s novels elucidate contemporary political and economic developments as well as our cultural fear of, and fascination with, terrorism. The writing of terrorism can thus become the foundation of a different politics where, according to Maurice Blanchot, «there is no explosion except a book.»
Sabine Sielke and Christian Klöckner
This collection of essays explores the poetics and politics of US-American poetry’s diverse and distinct investments in the imaginary space of ‘the Orient’. Reading American poets – from Emily Dickinson to Frank Bidart, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Kimiko Hahn – the contributions show how tropes of the Orient have fabricated screens onto which we project matters by no means foreign, but very close to home. As we accompany American poets on their journeys East, we are bound to arrive in – culturally specific – territories of the West. Traversing cultural crossroads and rediscovering places as ‘exotic’ as Banyan ashrams and Bostonian living rooms, these expeditions shed new light on crucial moments of American literary and cultural history. And, on the way, they reassess what Edward Said, thirty years ago, conceived of as Orientalism, and how far this concept has travelled in the meantime.
Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Twenty-First Century U.S. American Culture
Edited by Christian Klöckner, Simone Knewitz and Sabine Sielke
Rather than turning backward and remembering 9/11, this book sets out to reflect on how the events of September 11, 2001, have shifted our perspectives on a whole series of political, economic, social, and cultural processes. Beyond 9/11 raises the question how the intense debates on the 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermaths have come to shape our present moment and frame what lies ahead. At the same time, this collection acknowledges that the label «9/11» has often bracketed cultural complexities we have only begun to understand. In Beyond 9/11, contributors from the fields of American studies, political science, economics, history, theology, and the arts reappraise the cultural climate and the global impact of the United States in the second decade of the twenty-first century.