2. Imagining Disaster

  1. Richard Gray

Published Online: 27 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395860.ch2

After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11

After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11

How to Cite

Gray, R. (2011) Imagining Disaster, in After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395860.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470657928

Online ISBN: 9781444395860



  • imagining disaster;
  • American culture, internationally dominant - United States, itself, being internationalized;
  • America, sole remaining superpower - fear of, its own possible impotence and potential decline;
  • United States, having become - what Ishmael Reed, called “the first universal nation”;
  • very opposite of triumphalism - 9/11, “war on terror,” Al Quaeda, Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay;
  • America, witnessing disappearance of boundary - the “center” and the “margins”;
  • post-9/11 novel, The Writing on the Wall by Lynne Sharon Schwartz - the domestic, corruption of public sphere;
  • Updike, his own undoubted distaste - contemporary America, world of commodities, as a kind of bridge;
  • The Road, questions of what kind of fall occurs - setting, of The Road, as post-nuclear;
  • voice of the author, inner voice of protagonist - the voices of McCarthy's literary forebears, bleed into them