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Category Archive for 'Falling Man'

About all of it, and broadly, because that is how I’ve been thinking about it: in broad terms. And think about it I certainly have. In fact — and I do not mean this in any hard core academic sense (though maybe I should profess otherwise) — I’ve thought and spoken about this class far […]

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This post is in response to Sarah’s oral report, so clearly I’ve been sitting on it for a while and I apologize for that. Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish/Basque writer, presented an analysis of human motivation regarding living and dying that I show below in chart form. As it relates to this class, each character […]

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I’ve noticed a trend in the literature we’ve been evaluating in this class. Children hold it together pretty damn well. In fact, I believe it could be argued that they do better at remaining functional in the face of disaster than many of the adults in their lives and in these stories. Sure, Oskar’s quest […]

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… how many times I said the word “sex” during my presentation.  Also, the words “vulnerable” and “um.” I’ve seldom in my life felt as preachy as I did during my presentation yesterday. I realized later that this is because I feel very strongly about what I was evaluating. Now, instead of continuing to talk […]

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Don DeLillo has stated that his object as a writer is to pay attention to cultural trends in the United States, New York City specifically, and to represent these trends in his writing. This has led critics to characterize him as paranoid, since many of the trends he has followed are pessimistic. For example, DeLillo […]

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As discussed in class, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a lot more engaging than Falling Man. Is this simply because The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a better narrative? Is it the style of writing? Is it the subject? I personally think that the reason we consider The Reluctant Fundamentalist better is not necessarily because Hamid is a […]

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Below is an excerpt from an essay that Don Delillo published a few months after the 9/11 attacks. Click here to read the entire essay. Eleven years ago, during the engagement in the Persian Gulf, people had trouble separating the war from coverage of the war. After the first euphoric days, coverage became limited. The […]

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Here is an excerpt from philosopher Edmund Burke‘s On the Sublime and Beautiful. It is taken from Section XV, which contains the heading “Of the effects of tragedy”: In imitated distresses the only difference is the pleasure resulting from the effects of imitation; for it is never so perfect, but we can perceive it is imitation, […]

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Falling

That’s why you built the towers, isn’t it? Weren’t the towers built as fantasies of wealth and power that would one day become fantasies of destruction? You build a thing like that so you can see it come down. The provocation is obvious. What other reason would there be to go so high and then […]

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War on Terror

Forget God. These are matters of history. This is politics and economic. All the things that shape lives, millions of people, dispossessed, their lives, their consciousness. This quote highlights one of the first mentions of the war on terror. I think it’s important to note how Don Delillo incorporates the different arguments that speak for […]

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The Passing of Time

“These are the days after. Everything now is measured by after.” –Falling Man, page 138 This short passage comes about halfway through the book and briefly states one of the novel’s main themes, the passage of time. Throughout the entire novel, everything is compared to how it was before. 9/11 changes some aspects of the characters’ lives, […]

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Poker Face

“He wasn’t playing for the money. He was playing for the chips. The value of each chip had only hazy meaning. It was the disk itself that mattered, the color itself.”~ Falling Man by Don DeLillo page 228 It is strange that in light of the struggle and grief survivors of 9/11 went through that […]

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Hung Up

It’s a little bit funny that half of the title of Don DeLillo’s novel is the word “Man,” considering that the reader is not given any incredibly deep insight into the life of any man depicted in the book.  What’s more, the character whose relationship with the Falling Man is the most thorough and valid […]

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It’s Connected to Everything Now

9/11 was a huge event for the entire world, regardless of whether it was a happy one or sad one. As with most big events, the repercussions seem to be endless because that event becomes a part of who we are. Whether it is something we think about constantly or simply something that is at the […]

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Excerpt from Falling Man

    In his novel Falling Man, Don Dellilo tries to give us more than a realistic account of 9/11 and its aftermath.     A movie or a documentary would be much more efficient in recreating the external violence of the event.  Even if the beginning and the end are conveying the terror of […]

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Arrogance?

Has anyone else ever heard about something terrible happening to a person and wondered why she reacted the way she did, and even thought that maybe you would have handled the situation better? Earlier this year, I heard about a young woman who was forced at gunpoint into the trunk of her car and kidnapped. […]

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Follow the Arc

Every day is different and every day presents its own challenges and worries. Sometimes these worries follow us from day to day. We find ourselves losing ourselves in these worries. Our minds wander off on tangents of worry. Lianne’s mind is doing this constantly. She jumps from worry to worry–always something to think about. She […]

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Opening of Falling Man

In the first chapter of Falling Man, as Keith walks away from the carnage of the tower, many of the details he notices, or at least the ones he remembers, are the ones that are not specific to the unfolding event. He walks past a “Breakfast Special sign”, presumably in the window of a diner […]

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“The Kid” in Falling Man

I can’t be the only one who feels sorry for him.  “The kid” is what they call him, and repeatedly. The reader does know that his name is Justin, but this information seems to be tossed in almost as an afterthought on the part of the involved narrator, whether Lianne or Keith. Lianne mentions her […]

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The opening scene covers the morning of the 9/11 attacks from the crash of the first plane into the World Trade Center’s North tower to the collapse of the South tower. Don De Lillo decided to start his novel “ in medias res“; we are thrown into the middle of the action. The beginning creates a strong […]

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Nightmare

It will end, eventually, but not yet. It seems never ending. It devours you. You want to scream, run, curl into a tiny ball, cry, and disappear all at once. You don’t know what to do, because you are no longer in control. You don’t want to feel this way. Nobody ever wants to feel […]

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WTC 9/11 and “Falling Man”

The beginning of Falling Man paints a haunted picture of the event of 9/11 as one of the main characters, Keith, walks through the chaos of it. The debris and rubble are falling around him as people run past. It is a very chaotic scene. While listening to Steve Reich’s “WTC 9/11,” I was reminded […]

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Like Snow

In the first chapter of Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, the reader is immediately immersed in the mutedly horrific daze that is Keith’s trek away from the falling twin towers.  It’s a shambling walk that becomes the world while, coolly, the narrator clarifies that “The world was this as well, figures in windows a thousand feet […]

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Falling Man, Losing Innocence

Page one of Don Delillo’s novel is titled, “Part One Bill Lawton.” I’ve read White Noise, also by Delillo, so I had some understanding of what the writing style in the novel would be. I assumed (you know what they say when you assume…) the title was in reference to a main character. I stumbled […]

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He was hearing Bill Lawton

 “He was hearing Bill Lawton. They were saying bin Laden.” (Falling Man page 73)   In the chaos and panic of September 11th no one bothered to explain to the children what was going on, they kept it all hush-hush. The parents reasoned that by not saying anything it would shelter their children, keeping them […]

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On the Transmigration of Souls

While listening to John Adams’ “On the Transmigration of Souls,” I was at a loss for words when I heard the lyrics “I see water and buildings,” because I immediately thought of Falling Man. Throughout the story water plays a recurring role, even though it seems like something as simple as water would mean nothing […]

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