Middle of Nowhere Productions

Middle of Nowhere Productions

Falling Man (Don DeLillo) Notes.

Intro.

No explicit mention of historical events but bona fide clues (esp. training camp + flight school & simulator + jihad)

Novel written in the aftermath of september 11. 2001 (plus other terrorist attacks)

American novelist: Axis of Evil 2002 / Iraq War 2003/Bushism/paradoxical position

Originality lies in the focalisation: choice (one of the terrorists) + style (extreme focalisation: 3rd person narration + stream of consciousness + free indirect speech)

Authorial discretion goes with extreme focalisation: Reader’s Stockholm syndrome induced/No perceptible denunciation/no open criticism/share the terrorist’s thoughts & feelings/reinforced by terrorist’s personality: young, under influence, in doubt

Original approach, efficient (tackles the issue differently/forces reader to see things differently)


Text organisation: Two distinct time-frames, but no clear sections otherwise because of: ultra stream-of-consciousness effect.

1 to 18 and 24 to end: Before the attack, in Nokomis, Florida.USA. Hiding and specifically training.

19 to 23: Flashback: In the training camp, possibly in Yemen.


Commentary plan:

  1. The jihad/terrorist attacks: presence in the text. Belligerence (Islam vs the Great Satan,) strategies, methods.

  2. The main character, Hammad (as a young man victim of both identity problems & indoctrination.) Psychology, behaviour, responses to the situation, vision of the world.

  3. The point of view (capital.) Techniques and effects of extreme focalisation and text efficiency.


1


Islam.

Phraseology. Arabic terms in italics or not. Presence of Amir, as the-one-who-speaks, the imam, both at the beginning and end of the passage.

Definition of the mission in pseudo-koranic terms, in which the concept of predestination is paramount (mektub). Arabic quotation opening the passage referrring to the USA as nation, doomed to be terminated. Capital W (no capitals in Arabic –importance of “the shift?) focussing on the notion of community.

Mention of Saudi Arabia as land of the 2 holy places.

Description of Amir as a true Muslim (Haji, pilgrimage, funeral prayer)

Episode of the ritual slaying of a camel.

Terrorism.

Clear reference to the destruction of a nation.

Inversion of the higher jihad & lesser jihad + mention of bloody acts. L.4/5

Fired weapons and set off explosives line 4

Suicide line 5. reiterated 35/50/55

Jews and crusaders line 11.

Line 11: tactics / discretion/ clear references to planes & airlines / management of men.

Airport controls line 7/8

Clandestinity line 15.Line 17: lie to parents.

Plot lines 31/32

Flight school lines 7/36 on.

Martyrs line 49



29/11/2013
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