Chapter

. Virtual Trauma and True Mourning

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823231232.003.0007
. Virtual Trauma and True Mourning

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The content, format, ideological slant, and mode of institutional production of the “news” varies considerably throughout the world, but always and everywhere it is a fact that reality only sometimes, under certain conditions, becomes spectacle. The September 11 attacks were a reality that had to become spectacle. This act of terrorism may have been animated by certain relatively specific political intentions, but in destroying the symbolic center of world trade it jolted a “world order” sustained by “the credit of American power” to recall once more Derrida's analysis. This world order is, among other things, a regime of tele-technological representation: a multilayered constellation of institutions, technologies, and practices through which mediatized phenomena come to varying degrees of visibility for many heterogeneous audiences, the whole dominated, unevenly but pervasively, by American commercial, financial, political, cultural, military, and linguistic power.

Keywords: September 11; spectacle; terrorism; world order; tele-technological representation; virtual trauma; mourning

Chapter.  2331 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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