Frank Lentricchia and Jody McAuliffe

in Crimes of Art + Terror

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780226472058
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226472089 | DOI:

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This chapter explores the aesthetic character and effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It considers the comments of Karlheinz Stockhausen, the German pioneer of electronic music, who called the attack on the World Trade Center “the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos” and went on to speak in apparent awe of the terrorists' achievement of “something in one act” that “we couldn't even dream of in music,” in which “people practice like crazy for ten years, totally fanatically for a concert, and then die.” The chapter also discusses how the terrorists who struck New York may be said to have made—with the cooperation of American television—performance art with political designs on its American audience.

Keywords: September 11; terrorism; aesthetics; Karlheinz Stockhausen; performance art

Chapter.  4493 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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