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The Rhetoric of TerrorReflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror$
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Marc Redfield

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231232

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823231232.001.0001

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. September 11

. September 11

1. September 11
The Rhetoric of Terror

Marc Redfield

Fordham University Press

A name-date marks itself and becomes readable only in freeing itself from the singularity that it nonetheless recalls. The name-date “September 11” usually surfaces in its purity and no descriptive supplement but given numerical representation. The numerical term was identified as an American idiom for it depends on and makes rhetorical capital in the U.S. convention of citing the month before the day in numerical dating. In addition, Derrida went on to make that assertion more complete. The “event” signaled by the name-date resists comprehension and the work of mourning both insofar as it is felt as a threat to the global and manifold work of accreditation performed by American power and as a threat that has not yet arrived. Moreover, the name-date “September 11” draws its power from this vibrantly contradictory motion away from and toward its referent.

Keywords:   September 11, name-date, American idiom, Derrida

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