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This thesis addresses the relationship between American literature and terrorism in works written during the last two decades of the Twentieth Century. Don DeLillo and Tom Robbins have each written novels that explore the relationship between writers and terrorists and address the consequences of an exchange of power between novelists and terrorists. William S. Burroughs adopts terrorism's methods in order to attack and redefine the conventions of the novel. Following the September 11 terror attacks, several writers responded with texts that strive in one way or another to contextualize the attacks in a way that is culturally relevant. Essentially, this thesis demonstrates that literature's relationship to terrorism is more complicated than generally acknowledged. There is far more involved than novelists telling simple stories about terrorist organizations and describing their nefarious actions.
Metanarrative, Power, Theatricality, Terrorist, John Updike, Amiri Baraka, September 11, Cut-up, Tom Robbins, Don DeLillo, William S. Burroughs, Literary Terrorism
Date of Defense
March 21, 2008.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of English in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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