Trauma, Ethics and Myth-Oriented Literary Tradition in Jonathan Safran Foer's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Francisco Collado-Rodríguez

Abstract


This essay proposes a reading of Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel as a literary artifact that the author has consciously elaborated following the strategies of a myth-oriented tradition that had its first literary outbreak in times of High Modernism, being subsequently pursued by magical-realist and postmodern writers. The novelist associates strategies and motifs belonging to such tradition to a context that fulfills the premises of contemporary trauma fiction but that also aims at establishing comparisons between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and WW2 events that North American readers are here forced to remember from the perspective and opinions of a nine-year-old traumatized narrator. Modernist and magical-realist elements combine in a novel that openly demands the ethical positioning of its readers.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/jes.120

Copyright (c) 2008 Francisco Collado-Rodríguez

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© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 1576-6357

EISSN 1695-4300