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Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction

Homosociality and Nihilist Performance

Sandra Singer

Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction considers fictional work of the time subsequent to the attacks. The book develops and investigates models of stock characters in 9/11 fiction who promote the trauma meme within a narrative arc of tragedy; the conceptual evolution of trauma and media as thematic arcs is interpreted within specific 9/11 novels and in correspondence with other terrorist fiction. The almost exclusively male stock character protagonists include the male homosocial perpetrator and the tightrope walker. Among the more recent authors discussed are Amy Waldman and Thomas Pynchon, whose novels illustrate the way characters inhabit media models, rather than, as previously thought, using media for disseminating terrorist events and messaging. Other featured writers include Bernhard Schlink, Don DeLillo, Claire Messud, Ian McEwan, Joseph O’Neill, and Colum McCann. Stock Characters in 9/11 Fiction is a valuable text for scholars of 9/11 fiction, as well as for professors and university students studying contemporary literature.

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My thanks go to Meagan Simpson, editor at Peter Lang Publishing, for her enthusiasm for the project and helpful guidance along the way. Emily Carlisle, research assistant, provided an initial literature review. My deepest gratitude is to Daniel Singer for his humor, steadfastness and loving support.

Although no chapter in this book is a simple reprint of a previously published essay, some chapters contain material that has appeared elsewhere. I am grateful to reprint from “Cultural and Historical Memory in English and German Discursive Responses to 9/11,” 9/11 in European Literature: Negotiating Identities Against the Attacks and What Followed, edited by Svenja Frank, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 131–157 with the permission of Springer Nature; “The Image of the Falling Man Revisited,” Silence and the Silenced: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Leslie Boldt, Corrado Federici, and Ernesto Virgulti, Peter Lang, 2013, pp. 127–142 with the permission of Peter Lang; “Fiction and Historical Memory: Negotiating the Traumatizing Image of the Falling Man,” Ethics and Poetics: Ethical Recognitions and Social Reconfigurations in Modern Narratives, edited by Margrét Gunnarsdóttir Champion and Irina Rasmussen Goloubeva, Cambridge Scholars, 2014, pp. 229–249 with the permission of Cambridge Scholars Publishing; “Transcultural Friendship Mediating the 9/11 Disaster in Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland,” Reflecting 9/11: ← ix | x → New Narratives in Literature, Television, Film and Theatre, edited by Heather E. Pope and Victoria M. Bryan, Cambridge Scholars, 2016, pp. 111–126 with the permission of Cambridge Scholars Publishing. An earlier version of chapter six...

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