Fiction and Testimony in Don DeLillo's Falling Man

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The noun ‘testimony’ has a very strong relationship with truth. As a mode of evidentiary discourse, it is more closely associated with law and church than with the creative field. However, artists too may bear witness, or testify, to public events. One such artist, I suggest, is Don DeLillo, who gives an account of the 11 September 2001 disaster in New York and its aftermath in Falling Man: A Novel (2007). Though it is fiction, as signalled so clearly in the title of the novel, it can be argued that it offers testimony to at least some aspects of the disaster and its aftermath. But can a work of the imagination also be the statement of a witness, an account of something that is true? Drawing on insights from the writings of Jacques Derrida on ‘truth’ and Michel Foucault on the experience-book, and through a close reading of DeLillo's novel, I argue that fiction has the capacity to offer an account of an event that works in a way similar to that of testimony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalLife Writing
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Don DeLillo
Testimony
Fiction
Artist
Witness
Disaster
Nouns
Jacques Derrida
September 11 Attacks
Close Reading
Michel Foucault
Modes of Discourse

Cite this

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Fiction and Testimony in Don DeLillo's Falling Man. / Webb, Jennifer.

In: Life Writing, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2011, p. 51-65.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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