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The Common GrowlToward a Poetics of Precarious Community$
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Thomas Claviez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270910

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270910.001.0001

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Poetics of Anxiety and Security

Poetics of Anxiety and Security

The Problem of Speech and Action in Our Time

Chapter:
(p.57) Poetics of Anxiety and Security
Source:
The Common Growl
Author(s):

Homi K. Bhabha

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823270910.003.0004

This essay examines the connection between literature and trauma by analyzing anew the cultural circulation of Auden’s “September 1, 1939” in relation to the 9/11 terror attacks. Widely invoked at a cultural moment when the diffusion and dissemination of these tragic images was constant and ubiquitous, this entry argues against the poem as having a direct bearing through the meaning of its famous words, but rather as a poetic space that can speak to the anxiety and concern such an event, and its accompanying medial propogation, engenders. It comes to theorize this poem as a third-space, where trauma is manifested and inscribed within us as the feeling of anxiety and desire for security. It is the poem’s ability to speak in and as this third space, at the same time foreign and proximal, that forms the basis for being together.

Keywords:   9/11, anxiety, Auden, security, terror, third-Space, trauma

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