Jonathan Safran Foer emerged as one of the most original writers of his generation with his best-selling debut novel, Everything Is Illuminated. Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination. Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone's heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who've lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father's grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother's apartment. They are there to dig up his father's empty coffin.
extremely loud and incredibly close 2
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Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Potsdam (Anglistik/Amerikanistik), course: Extremely Irritated and Incredibly Diverse- US-Amerikanische Mainstreamliteratur nach 2000, language: English, abstract: I didn’t understand why I needed help, because it seemed to me that you should wear heavy boots when your dad dies, and if you aren’t wearing heavy boots, then you need help. (Foer 200, emphasis original) On an early Tuesday morning in September 2001 two as human bombs converted airplanes hit the World Trade Center, killed about 2870 people and left nearly 10.000 children with only one or even no parent at all (Anzieu-Premmereur 281). This drastic disaster ended America as it was known before 9/11 and overwhelmed its inhabitants with tragedy, terror and fear, leaving behind an overpowering numbness that will express itself through flags flying at half-mast, millions of shattered individuals, repetitive pictures of horror in the media and attempts to handle the unbearable through literature. In Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (for shortening reasons from now on referred to as EL&IC) the nine-year-old protagonist Oskar Schell suffers from the loss of his dear father Thomas Schell Jr. who died on 11 September in the restaurant Windows of the World located in the north tower of the World Trade Center. This paper will show how Foer’s three main characters in EL&IC are portrayed as survivors of trauma, what experiences and guilt they suffer from and how they deal with these on the level of language, action and image. Referring to trauma theory this text will prove that each of the three characters has a different way of coping with the traumatic experiences they faced (in the case of the grandparents even two experiences are taken into consideration) and to what extend a resolution of trauma is achieved by them. The unconventional style of narration and design of EL&IC, its inclusion of blankness and blackness and its constant use of pictures through Thomas Sr.’s daybooks as well as Oskar’s Stuff that Happened to Me, create a collage-like character of the novel that resembles the structure of trauma which will also be discussed in this paper.
Writers have represented 9/11 and its aftermath with varying degrees of success. In Out of the Blue, Kristiaan Versluys focuses on novels that move beyond patriotic clichés and cheap sensationalism and provide new insights into the emotional and ethical impact of these traumatic events and what it means to depict them. Versluys focuses on Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World, and John Updike's Terrorist. He scrutinizes how these writers affirm the humanity of the disoriented individual, as opposed to the cocksure killer or politician, and retranslate hesitation, stuttering, or stammering into a precarious act of defiance. Versluys also discusses works by Ian McEwan, Anita Shreve, Martin Amis, and Michael Cunningham, arguing for the novel's distinct power in rendering the devastation of 9/11.
Rachel Greenwald Smith's Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism examines the relationship between American literature and politics in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Smith contends that the representation of emotions in contemporary fiction emphasizes the personal lives of characters at a time when there is an unprecedented, and often damaging, focus on the individual in American life. Through readings of works by Paul Auster, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ben Marcus, Lydia Millet, and others who stage experiments in the relationship between feeling and form, Smith argues for the centrality of a counter-tradition in contemporary literature concerned with impersonal feelings: feelings that challenge the neoliberal notion that emotions are the property of the self.
A disorder that is only just beginning to find a place in disability studies and activism, autism remains in large part a mystery, giving rise to both fear and fascination. Sonya Freeman Loftis’s groundbreaking study examines literary representations of autism or autistic behavior to discover what impact they have had on cultural stereotypes, autistic culture, and the identity politics of autism. Imagining Autism looks at fictional characters (and an author or two) widely understood as autistic, ranging from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Harper Lee’s Boo Radley to Mark Haddon’s boy detective Christopher Boone and Steig Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. The silent figure trapped inside himself, the savant made famous by his other-worldly intellect, the brilliant detective linked to the criminal mastermind by their common neurology—these characters become protean symbols, stand-ins for the chaotic forces of inspiration, contagion, and disorder. They are also part of the imagined lives of the autistic, argues Loftis, sometimes for good, sometimes threatening to undermine self-identity and the activism of the autistic community.
This book looks at the way writers present the effects of trauma in their work. It explores narrative devices, such as 'metafiction', as well as events in contemporary America, including 9/11, the Iraq War, and reactions to the Bush administration.
Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), course: 20th Century Novels, language: English, abstract: Trauma seems to me being an essential topic to discuss in school as everybody sooner or later has to deal with loss or already dealt with it in the past. As every student can identify with this potential challenge, it is important for them to get to know different ways of dealing with trauma. Foer’s story even reveals that coping with trauma is able to bring people from different races and ages together. Even if people’s trauma is caused by different events there will be a connection between these people. Moreover, it would be possible to teach this topic interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary in ethics or religious education classes. As everyone could be affected by trauma I determined this topic for my planned lesson. The reason for choosing the subtopics namely ‘inventing’ and ‘heavy boots’ referring to Oskar; Grandfather Schell’s ‘aphasia’ and ‘the doorknobs’ and finally, ‘supressing’ and ‘the feeling of being needed’ with regard to Grandmother Schell reveal concreteness for the main topic. I decided to teach the topic by group work to facilitate the exchange of experiences without the danger to be exposed in front of the class. I thought this is the best way, as the students can talk about how they perceived the character and his or her ability to deal with the trauma they have gone through. The team work is followed by a presentation and discussion of this work to ensure all students have reached the same level of knowledge. Moreover, it is important have the ability to emphasise with this character and change their perspectives or contribute their own experiences with loss to explain the others why somebody could show such behaviour. I will analyse the topic by a characterisation following by a psychoanalytic approach. For one it is important to get to know why people are behaving differently after experiencing loss and second, it is illuminating for the students to become aware that trauma can be responsible for the person concerned being left with an altered personality. The lesson I have planned relates to both, characterisation and psychoanalytic approaches. After the lesson the students should have general knowledge about trauma and its effects. Furthermore, it should be clear that trauma can only be overcome by going through two phases, which build up upon each other.
Bachelor Thesis from the year 2016 in the subject English - Literature, Works, University of Presov (British and American Studies), language: English, abstract: This bachelor thesis analyses Oskar Schell, the fictional character from Jonathan Safran Foer's novel "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". The chosen technique is called „a case study“ since it examines the case of Oskar Schell with an emphasis on his mental state. The thesis is divided into two main parts; theoretical and practical. The theory briefly deals with the author and his literary purpose, explains the plot, the basic theories of three mental disorders – posttraumatic stress disorder, autism and clinical depression. The practical part demonstrates symptoms of these illnesses in Oskar's passages and in the end provides a possible diagnosis.
The enormous adverse psychological side effects resulting from the 9/11 at-tacks are represented by 13% of lower Manhattan residents even seven years afterwards. Foer has a walk-over attracting a large readership because he utilizes this topic. His rea-dership could have been even bigger if they would have known about the practical im-plementation of coping strategies creatively hidden in the subtext. It is the main goal of this text to reveal major PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) symptoms in the main characters in a partly scientific/literary analysis and thus give an idea how the 40% of New York City's affected school children might have felt in the aftermath of September 11. Relevant coping strategies that ensure a general health-related quality of life can be experienced in a beautiful story about a boy that exceeds his emotional boundaries with the help of his closer and farther related social environment. Seminar paper aus dem Jahr 2010 im Fachbereich Englisch - Literatur, Werke, Note: 1,2, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald (Anglistik), Veranstaltung: The US Justice System, Sprache: Englisch.
A comprehensive writers' guide to the terminology used across the creative writing industries and in the major literary movements. Packed with practical tips for honing writing skills and identifying opportunities for publication and production, it also explains the workings of publishing houses, literary agencies and producing theatres.