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Constructions of Europe and America in French '9/11' prose texts

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Abstract

In the aftermath of 9/11, Europe, America, and the relationship between them were reassessed and reconstructed via a range of different discourses. Whilst political, media and theoretical reflections often emphasized differences between America and Europe, or focused on the self-destructive tendencies within the body politic, literary texts have provided more varied, and nuanced, reflections on what it means to say "we" post 9/11. The analysis of spatial and temporal constructions of Europe and America in six French texts reveals how literary representations of nations and national belonging both supplement and subvert other discursive constructions. Finally, it is suggested that the spatial synecdoche, Auschwitz, has come to serve as a comparitor for the temporal synecdoche that is 9/11; a twentieth century "lieu de mémoire" reduced to a frame of reference for a twenty-first century "date de mémoire."
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-267
JournalContemporary French Civilization
Volume36
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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