I am about to launch into reading texts that deal with postmodernism, terrorism, and 9/11, so I am thinking through the particular aspects of the World Trade Center attacks that make them particularly postmodern. The amatuer and professional footage, the global media networks, the discussions that have carried on through new media, and the terrorists capitalizing on an unwittingly complicit media all make this a particular postmodern tragedy. The question I have is, how can literature shed new light on a decidedly new media event? What is it about literature that makes this possible?
I will always hold to my argument that literature asks unanswerable questions that push the dialogue into new territory. The media foreclosure of the discourse in the post 9/11 world can be confronted anew by literary texts that refocus the discussion on individuals coping with the repercussions of the tragedy and the way it played out in the sphere of new media. Furthermore, literature slows the engagement from its hyperspeed on global networks that infultrate public space and shape cultural memory. The process of reading allows for careful consideration by a lone reader, allowing singular responses to take shape instead of mass consensus. Lastly, many texts not only respond to the tragedy but allow for new responses as well, literature's response-ability.