The 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States has become one of the most represented disasters in history since it produced an unprecedented visual impact on those around the world who watched the second plane crash into the South Tower live on television. In an atmosphere in which reality resembled fiction, fiction was initially rejected as a suitable means for understanding and relating to the enormity of the events because it apparently had nothing to offer that journalism and the news could not provide. Ten years later, these initial misgivings have been overcome and 9/11 fiction has become a genre in itself. This essay explores the use of newspaper articles, radio transcripts, phone messages, e-mails, and interviews with eyewitnesses in Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World (2004); the use of moving images—a flip book—and other visuals inserted in Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005); and the references to well-known photographs of 9/11 in Don DeLillo's Falling Man (2007). These authors do not ignore the mediated nature of 9/11 but display it through the incorporation of other media in their fiction, which renders their representation of the trauma more effective.
Research Article|September 01 2011