Literature and Terrorism
Edited by Michael C. Frank and Eva Gruber
The years following the attacks of September 11, 2001 have seen the publication of a wide range of scientific analyses of terrorism. Literary studies seem to lag curiously behind this general shift of academic interest. The present volume sets out to fill this gap. It does so in the conviction that the study of literature has much to offer to the transdisciplinary investigation of terror, not only with respect to the present post-9/11 situation but also with respect to earlier historical contexts. Literary texts are media of cultural self-reflection, and as such they have always played a crucial role in the discursive response to terror, both contributing to and resisting dominant conceptions of the causes, motivations, dynamics, and aftermath of terrorist violence. By bringing together experts from various fields and by combining case studies of works from diverse periods and national literatures, the volume Literature and Terrorism chooses a diachronic and comparative perspective. It is interested in the specific cultural work performed by narrative and dramatic literature in the face of terrorism, focusing on literature's ambivalent relationship to other, competing modes of discourse.