Falling Man by Don DeLillo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer have both found a major inspiration in the 9/11 “jumpers,” as the hundreds of men and women who jumped out the windows of the Twin Towers toward certain death have been called. DeLillo’s novel announces its relation to 9/11 in the title, but “Falling Man” is also one of the novel’s characters, a performance artist who stages the frightful dive immortalized by Richard Drew in a photograph published in the New York Times the day after the terrorist attacks. The final pages of Foer’s novel re-write and reverse the destiny of one of the jumpers through a series of fourteen photo illustrations (based on a photograph taken by Lyle Owerko) of a body going upward to the top of the tower as we flip through the pages. The kind of transposition, transformation, and exchange that takes place between DeLillo’s and Foer’s fictional visual and narrative representations, on the one hand, and the “original” 9/11-jumpers, on the other, enacts a palimpsestic process of erasure and reinscription, layering and superimposition, forgetting and remembering. DeLillo’s performance artist is an unsuccessful attempt at resisting the oblivion from history that spectacularization inescapably involves; Foer’s photo elaborations lightly move the burdensome and contorted body of the falling man outside of history thus making oblivion, perhaps, less inescapable.

Some Stories Never End: DeLillo and Foer's Falling Men

PONTUALE, Francesco
2010

Abstract

Falling Man by Don DeLillo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer have both found a major inspiration in the 9/11 “jumpers,” as the hundreds of men and women who jumped out the windows of the Twin Towers toward certain death have been called. DeLillo’s novel announces its relation to 9/11 in the title, but “Falling Man” is also one of the novel’s characters, a performance artist who stages the frightful dive immortalized by Richard Drew in a photograph published in the New York Times the day after the terrorist attacks. The final pages of Foer’s novel re-write and reverse the destiny of one of the jumpers through a series of fourteen photo illustrations (based on a photograph taken by Lyle Owerko) of a body going upward to the top of the tower as we flip through the pages. The kind of transposition, transformation, and exchange that takes place between DeLillo’s and Foer’s fictional visual and narrative representations, on the one hand, and the “original” 9/11-jumpers, on the other, enacts a palimpsestic process of erasure and reinscription, layering and superimposition, forgetting and remembering. DeLillo’s performance artist is an unsuccessful attempt at resisting the oblivion from history that spectacularization inescapably involves; Foer’s photo elaborations lightly move the burdensome and contorted body of the falling man outside of history thus making oblivion, perhaps, less inescapable.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/18452
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