Abstract

This paper links the disenchantment of Keith Neudecker, protagonist of Falling Man, to psychical energies mobilized against perceived threats in his immediate environment. This mobilization, or hypercathexis of the protective shield, impoverishes the remaining psychical system, much like a nation whose bloated defense budget cripples the society that is supposed to be defended. It follows that if the external threats to which Keith responds are unchanged by 9/11, his psychic life will also be unchanged. This fact explains DeLillo’s choice to represent 9/11 and its aftermath with familiar narrative structures even though it is an event that supposedly “changed the world forever.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 1-27
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-24
Open Access
No
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