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Salim Bachi, Tuez-les tous

«Si tu crois que Dieu existe alors ton crime sera un crime métaphysique qui plongera Dieu lui-même, incréé et incorporel, dans une immense contradiction, une crise d’où ni toi ni lui ne sortirez grandis, ni vaincus ni victorieux. Si tu ne crois pas alors tout sera réglé. Ce ne sera qu’un crime de masse de plus, il y en a tous les jours, dans toutes les parties du vaste monde. La différence avec le tien, c’est qu’on en parlera, on ne cessera jamais d’en parler, et puis un jour, la mémoire humaine est ainsi, on oubliera.» (p.57)


Jess Walter, The Zero

"The whole thing looks different now. Every day, they take shit away and it just never comes back. Take it to Fresh Kills and squeeze it like orange juice until all the paper and blood comes out and then they go back for another truckload." He spoke in a low groan. "They're gonna take it all away, Bri. All of it. The paper gets filed, bits of flesh buried, and you know who gets the steel ? The mob. Goddamn bosses give all the steel to the mob. Everyone gets a piece a this thing." [...]

"I just wanna tell'em, 'Leave it!' You know ? Leave the shit. Everything. The piles and mounds. What's the fuggin' rush ? Let me and the smokers spend the rest of our lives going through it one piece at a time if we want."


The Lake Shore Limited

"It's like 9/11. It's political. It has its claims, doesn't it? In That there is only one politically correct response to this. Humanly correct.[...] "I mean, think of it as if it were like 9/11. Think if you'd been about to ask someone for a divorce, and they upped and died then. The ambivalent reaction to such an event, the complicated one, is shocking to people. No one wants to hear it. It's... repulsive. It's unpatriotic. [...] It's small. It's unworthy. Such a truth needs to be suppressed. (p.65-66)


Jess Walter, The Zero (2)

"And suddenly, Remy thought he could see the world clearly. He had tried to go along, waiting for the fog to clear, for the terrain to make sense. But what if it never cleared ? Then a word spoke itself in his head, as if not from him, but from outside.
Act, it said. Act." (p. 306)


Yann Moix, Partouz

«Ce qui est incroyable, c'est que quelque chose d'aussi théorique, d'aussi purement, strictement théorique, théorisé, fantasmatique, fantasmé, que quelque chose d'aussi peu réalisable, d'aussi peu concrétisable ait fini par réussir, par être concrétisé, par être réalisé, par s'être réalisé. Voilà pourquoi c'était peut-être encore plus incroyable de leur point de vue que du nôtre. Pour nous, c'était impossible à imaginer... Pour eux, c'était le succès d'une telle entreprise qui était impossible à imaginer.» (p.101)

Once in a Promised Land

"Our main characters are Salwa and Jassim. We really come to know them only after the World Trade Center buildings have been flattened by planes, flown by Arabs, by Muslims. Salwa and Jassim are both Arabs. Both Muslims. But of course they have nothing to do with what happened to the World Trade Center. Nothing and everything." (pp.VII-VIII)


Ken Kalfus, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country

"He had arrived home that afternoon, with stitches in his scalp and his suit shredded, and she had said, "So you made it out?" He had looked away, into the air, and replied, "So you weren't on the plane?" He added, his voice leaden, "We're such fortunate people."" (p. 25)

Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

"There were so many different ways to die, and I just need to know which was his." (p. 256)"I want to stop inventing. If I could know how he died, exactly how he died, I wouldn’t have to invent him dying inside an elevator that was stuck between floors, which happened to some people, and I wouldn’t have to imagine him trying to crawl down the outside of the building, which I saw a video of one person doing on a Polish site, or trying to use a tablecloth as a parachute, like some of the people who were in Windows in the World actually did." (p. 257)

In the Shadows of No Towers, Art Spiegelman

"Still, time keeps flying and even the New Normal gets old. My strips are now a slow-motion diary of what I experienced while seeking some provisional equanimity — though three years later I'm still ready to lose it all at the mere drop of a hat or a dirty bomb. I still believe the world is ending, but I concede that it seems to be ending more slowly than I once thought... so I figured I'd make a book." (Sans pagination) 


"The World Trade Center", Siri Hustvedt

"These are the translations of horror when it enters the mind and the body, and they seem to speak more directly to the truth than the elegant phrases we have been hearing lately, both political and literary. We have to talk, but we should be careful with our words." (p.159)

Helen Fielding: Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination

"Olivia believed in independent thought. Ever since the Twin Towers were hit, when the authorities told people to stay where they were and not evacuate, she kept asking herself: would she have been one of the ones who did as they were told and stayed, or would she have thought for herself and set off down the stairs?" (p. 21)

Colum McCann, "Dessert"

"Our job is to be epic and tiny, both. Three thousand lives in New York had just disintegrated into the air. Nobody could have known it for certain then, but hundreds of thousand of lives would hang in the balance — in Baghdad, Kabul, London, Madrid, Basra. The ordinary shoves up against the monumental. When big things fall, they shatter into fragments. They crash down and scatter over a very large landscape."

Colum McCann, "Dessert", The New Yorker, September 12, 2011, p. 25.

Richard B. Woodward, la distance

"It was the science fiction scale of the towers that for many delayed serious understanding of the attacks during the morning of September 11. The first televisioned images, illustrating a report that an airplane had crashed into Tower One at the World Trade Center, showed a blackened crack and wisps of smoke issuing from the upper floors. Cameras had been set up miles away so that the top of the structure could fit the frame. The photographic distance from the buildings, and the medium lenses used, distorted the gravity of the fire. The towers had, in effect, been shrunk to accomodate the format. Only with a telephoto lens, or after some quick multiplication of the data coming through the screen — a small black crack at the top of a building the size of the World Trade Center actually meant a huge three-floors-high-sixty-foot gash — was the impending catastrophe apparent. Then the second plane struck."

Richard B. Woodward, "Afterword", in Kevin Bubriski, Pilgrimage: Looking at Ground Zero, p. 91.

The Future of Love

"Sam had to come home. There was a war on. A wisp of satisfaction, of comfort, crept into Edith's heart. Manhattan was finished. Sam would have to come home, be content with this house, this land, her company. She had foolishly allowed Sam a long leash. This attack was an omen, or a portent. Things had to be set right." (p.146-147)


After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11

"What this offers to American writers is the chance, maybe even the obligation, to insert themselves in the space between conflicting interests and practices and then dramatize the contradictions that conflict engenders" (p.18-19)