Show Less
Restricted access

The Writing of Terrorism: Contemporary American Fiction and Maurice Blanchot


Christian Klöckner

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.»

Show Summary Details
Restricted access



I.      The Writing of Terrorism: Contemporary American Fiction and Maurice Blanchot. Introduction

II.     Infinite Conversations: Reading Auster with Blanchot

III.   Ruptures (I): The Double Games Of Leviathan

IV.    Ruptures (II): Coincidences, The Fall, and the Neutre

V.      Writing (I): Paradoxical Demands

VI.    Writing (II): Terror, Freedom, and Death

VII.   Responsibility: The Anarchic Leviathan of the Book

VIII. The Sublime Other: Philip Roth’s American Pastoral and History’s Terror

IX.    Violence: Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama as a Borderline Case

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.