Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The i key on my computer is sticking and I'm brain dead from a very long work day, so no real words of wisdom tonight. I am finishing Falling Man, a novel by Don Delillo in honor of the September 11 anniversary - striking book of memory, the way it is lost and found again, the many ways living through horrors changes people and relationships. This book takes many points of view - mostly of a man who walked out of the towers, his wife (with whom he was having marital difficulties before the attack) and his young son, who scans the sky for more planes. It also (very disturbingly for me) explores the inner life of one of the terrorists before the attack - his humanness, his pain, and his very threatening beliefs. The language is beautiful throughout and the psychology rings true. The tone is reflective and sad, but not without warmth and love. It's a book about after - after the worst has happened - after the turning point. It makes me think about the "afters" in my own life - the new chapters after innocence, or a love, or a way of being in the world has been lost. Most afters are small scale - personal. The after regarding the September 11 attacks was so much bigger. The author does a good job of letting it be big and personal at the same time. Literature of power is such a gift. I go to bed tonight thankful for story tellers and their courage to tell our stories.

3 comments:

Mary said...

This sounds like a powerful novel, definitely an apt read before September 11. Interesting to me is the many perspectives. I think it would be one I would like to read! Maybe one to recommend to the book group next time around.

Peggy said...

"Falliing Man" does sound like an interesting and powerful read. I will look for it at the library. I have to admit though I even after all this time I am still burn-out about 9-11. I am not sure why. Perhaps it was my horror at how the politicians used the situation so spectacularly to manipulate people that any coverage at all about it now seems overblown. Yes it was a terrible thing, but to me the media and government coverage made it into something much larger and much more powerful than it was.
I do have to watch what I say about this though because I know the event is still a very meaningful one to many many people. I sometimes hate being such a cynic.

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