Sunday, May 13, 2007


In "Mao II", [Don] DeLillo advanced the startling argument that, in the media age, the terrorist had supplanted the novelist as a cultural force. ”True terror is a language and a vision,” he explained. ”There is a deep narrative structure to terrorist acts, and they infiltrate and alter consciousness in ways that writers used to aspire to.” The writer and the terrorist are rivals: they want to imprint their way of seeing things on the world. The 9/11 attacks and the attendant media spectacle banished novelists to the fringes. Falling Man attempts to claw back some ground...[Fiction] repudiates terrorism’s death drive.
-- Ludovic Hunter-Tilney in a review of Falling Man (FT, 11 May).
Sometimes, during my workday, after several hours’ writing, I lift my head up and think — right now, at this very moment, another writer whom I don’t even know sits, in Damascus or Tehran, in Kigali or in Belfast, just like me, practicing this peculiar, Don-Quixote-like craft of creation, within a reality that contains so much violence and estrangement, indifference and diminution. Here, I have a distant ally who doesn’t even know me, but together we weave this intangible cobweb, which nevertheless has tremendous power, a world-changing and world-creating power, the power of making the dumb speak and the power of tikkun, or correction, in the deep sense it has in kabbalah.
-- David Grossman Writing in the Dark

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