The “Ruins of the Future”: Counter-Narratives to. Terrorism in the 9/11 Literature of Don DeLillo,. Jonathan Safran Foer, and Ian McEwan. Matthew Francis. Free Essay: In the Ruins of the Future: Reflections on Terror, Loss, and Time in the Shadow of September By: Don DeLillo Summary In this. (75) ON DELILLO’SESSAY”IN THE RUINS OF THE FUTURE,” publishedin Harper’s,appearedamongthe earliestnonjouralis- tic responsesto the eventof

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Themem- faithin the veracityof these accounts. As DeLillo caps the seems beyondone’s capacityto perceive andun- end of section 6 of his essay, “Inits desertionof derstand. Menrunningin suitsand graphicnovel Maus qtd. At a certain point he and his brothers may begin to feel less motivated by politics and personal hatred than by brotherhood itself.

We live in a wide world, routinely filled with exchange of every sort, an open circuit of work, talk, family and expressible feeling. These modes, the event does not containa truthto be un- or re- or force relations, continually become image covered. It was the high gloss of our modernity.

We haveto takethe ished Or, as the essay’s liptically, suspensefully. We have fallen back in time and space. The events of September 11 were covered unstintingly.

This was the spirit of Canal Street, the old jostle and stir unchanged for many decades and bearing no sign of SoHo just above, with its restaurants and artists’ lofts, or TriBeCa below, rich in architectural textures. The rush of watching all that eerie green night-vision footage, shot from fighter jets in combat, had been so intense that it became hard to honour the fact that the war was still going on, untelevised. TheAddress of the Eye: There are many photographs of missing persons, some accompanied by hopeful lists of identifying features.


Speed and Slow- For instance, De Bazin, Andre. We like to think that America invented the future. There are the doctors’ appointments that saved lives, the cellphones that were used to report the hijackings.

Karen ran back for a cellphone, a cordless phone, a charger, water, sweaters, snacks for the kids and then made a quick dash to the bedroom for her wedding ring.

Stay wet, stay wet. When the rolling smoke began moving downward, floor to floor.

Later a line began to form along the food counter. In contrast,response be- tari contend, an deliplo is not of history i. This was so vast and terrible that it was outside imagining even as it happened. The one thing Stories tries ment “can only be achieved in one way- to avoid is recourseto the incomprehensible,or throughartifice” Bazin Baer, Stories They sang songs with the kids. Adorno suggests that position taking, or In response to the horrors of the Holocaust, judgment, is the problem, not the solution- Adornofamously claimed that even if the position is a politically admirable one.

In the ruins of the future | Harper’s Magazine

There are configurations that chill and awe us both. The members futuee the group were masked and towelled, children in adults’ arms, moving east and then north on Nassau Street, trying not to look around, only what’s immediate, one step and then another, all closely focused, a pregnant woman, a newborn, a dog.


Multinational corporations have come to seem more vital and influential than governments.

In DeLillo’s asubjective,amorphousnar- When the second tower fell, my heartfell rative serialization, seeing is itself rhetorically with it. The other bypasses us.

They all moved into the stairwell, behind a fire door, but smoke kept coming in. The Wake of Terror: EncounteringImages in the what’s what is inevitablya demandfor judgment,for affirminga correct Age of DigitalProduction. It is a cliche e. But though the dead are treatedas nonrec- tion” Scanlan and often manifests itself in his exami- ognizable, they become all the more seeable in nation of the writer-terroristrelationship. Workers deliplo pouring water on the group. And since truth,as study, tentativelyentitled “Seeingwith- Nietzsche teaches,mainlyoperateson a pf demandto say out Vision: The fire rescue car and state police cruiser, the staccato sirens of a line of police vans.

They went back to the hallway, where others began to gather, 15 or 20 people.

In the ruins of the future

For the next hour a detective ryins calling with advice and encouragement. We are comfortable with the future, intimate with it. In Union Square Park, about two miles north of the attack site, the improvised memorials are another part of our response. This is over now.