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Terrorism and Temporality in the Works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Mao II: Pre-Figurations of Terrorist Temporality 2. The Futurity of the 10th of September 3. Beckett's Proust and Falling Man 4. Intimate Time: The Limits of Temporality in Point Omega 5. Pre-Cursors to Pynchon's Reconsideration of Temporality in Gravity's Rainbow 6. The Duration of Thomas Pynchon's Hell 7. Pynchon's Futurist Manifesto 8. Inherent Vice and the Chronotope Conclusion Works CitedIndex

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Reading the major works of Pynchon and DeLillo, Gourley argues for time as the crucial issue re-emerging in the ruins of the 21st century.

About the Author

James Gourley is a Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and member of the Writing and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Gourley has made an important contribution to our understanding of the work of two of the most important and most demanding of contemporary American novelists... Tracing some of the influences on these two writers, including Marinetti, Beckett and Proust, and drawing on relevant theoretical arguments, Gourley offers a fresh and illuminating account of their fiction before and after the attack. -- Derek Attridge, University of York, USA
In this remarkable book, James Gourley argues that the 9/11 terrorist attacks threw down a series of challenges: to the perceived position of the United States in the world, to our understanding of time and temporality, and to the notion of art in general and the novel in particular as an adequate and appropriate register of reality. Gourley shows how his two chosen authors, Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon, responded to these challenges in related but also significantly different ways. He reveals the continuities between their work written before and then after 9/11 and also the radical changes the terrorist attacks effectively compelled. Above all, he shows just how the trauma of 11th of September 2001 made these two writers reassess their work and their field and devise a new template for literature. Theoretically informed and critically astute, Terrorism and Temporality in the Works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo represents a significant addition to the growing field of 9/11studies. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in that field or in the work of these two major American authors-or, for that matter, in the larger issue of the relationship between politics and aesthetics, historical crisis and literary form. It also offers invaluable insights into the enigma of authorship, just how writers manage to speak the unspeakable. -- Richard Gray, FBA, Professor, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, UK, and author A Brief History of American Literature and After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11
The second plane hovers like Zeno's Arrow before impact with the South Tower, and time changes. In Terrorism and Temporality in the Works of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, James Gourley tracks the shift from cyber-capital's measurement of time in nanoseconds to the convergence of temporality in the Omega Point. Pynchon and DeLillo are our two most time-sensitive novelists, and Gourley deftly shows how their world, and ours, is changed utterly by the events of 9/11. -- Joseph M. Conte, Professor of English, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA

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