If you see something, say something : the figure of the "other" in the 9/11 novel, and ; Translatie : een roman aan de Bijlmerramp
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One central question unites the critical and creative halves of this project: how should fiction respond to a sudden crisis? Through this thesis, I was able to explore the potential pitfalls authors need to avoid in tackling historic subject matter. This critical half of this thesis examines the treatment of race in fiction depicting the September 11 attacks. The writers mentioned in this thesis—including Jonathan Safran-Foer, John Updike, Jay McInerney, Don DeLillo—are considered to be left-of-centre thinkers. However, their 9/11-related work aims to restore a classical notion of American hegemony. Chapter I: An American Breed discusses the protagonists of these novels, and how they represent ideas of upper class American whiteness. Chapter II: Fighting the Need to be Normal is about the portrayal of terrorists and terrorist bodies. Chapter III: You Want to Dance, I Want to Watch is about the treatment of African American characters. The final chapter, Chapter IV: White Crayons is about lower class and ethnically marked white characters. The creative half of the thesis is Translatie, a novella. It is written from the perspectives of two different characters, Jacob and Mia. Jacob is a 17-year-old Surinamese rent boy who is being sexually abused by his upstairs neighbour. Mia is a sex-show worker in her early 30s. The novel traces their lives in the week leading up to the 1992 Bijlmer Air Disaster. After the disaster, they go missing, and their friends and relatives are left to track them down.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Print and electronic copy restricted until 4th November 2019
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations
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