. September 11

Marc Redfield

in The Rhetoric of Terror

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231232
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241118 | DOI:
. September 11

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A name-date marks itself and becomes readable only in freeing itself from the singularity that it nonetheless recalls. The name-date “September 11” usually surfaces in its purity and no descriptive supplement but given numerical representation. The numerical term was identified as an American idiom for it depends on and makes rhetorical capital in the U.S. convention of citing the month before the day in numerical dating. In addition, Derrida went on to make that assertion more complete. The “event” signaled by the name-date resists comprehension and the work of mourning both insofar as it is felt as a threat to the global and manifold work of accreditation performed by American power and as a threat that has not yet arrived. Moreover, the name-date “September 11” draws its power from this vibrantly contradictory motion away from and toward its referent.

Keywords: September 11; name-date; American idiom; Derrida

Chapter.  2748 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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