Poetics of Disaster. Generic Instability and the Upgrading of Imaginativeness in the 9/11 Commission Report

by Bruno Arich-Gerz

Oscillating between the sobriety of a commission document, the blockbuster conventions of a thriller movie and the attention to detail of a documentary storyline, the 9/11 Commission Report, formally named the Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States of America (2004) is a prime example of the blurring of boundaries which stands in the focus of the conference. The proposed talk discusses the multigeneric arrangement of the report against the background of existing analyses that take a similar cue (Nadel 2011, Warren 2007), and investigates whether the nature of the attacks - previously inconceivable in factual reality, yet anticipated in numerous works of literary or filmic fiction – has in one way or another informed and co-shaped the Report. The generic analysis will be complemented by a discussion of the key results of the report-cum-narrative; special attention will be given to proposed counter-measures such as RTA (Red Team Analysis).

 

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Works cited:

Nadel, Alan 2011. “‘Temperate and nearly cloudless.’ The 9/11 Commission Report as Postmodern Pastiche,”Altre         Modernitá 29-46 [http://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/AMonline/article/view/1291]

Warren, Craig A. 2007. “‘It reads like a novel’: The 9/11 Commission Report and the American Reading Public,”              Journal of American Studies 41/3, 533-556.