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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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. Virtual Trauma and True Mourning

. Virtual Trauma and True Mourning

6. Virtual Trauma and True Mourning
The Rhetoric of Terror

Marc Redfield

Fordham University Press

The content, format, ideological slant, and mode of institutional production of the “news” varies considerably throughout the world, but always and everywhere it is a fact that reality only sometimes, under certain conditions, becomes spectacle. The September 11 attacks were a reality that had to become spectacle. This act of terrorism may have been animated by certain relatively specific political intentions, but in destroying the symbolic center of world trade it jolted a “world order” sustained by “the credit of American power” to recall once more Derrida's analysis. This world order is, among other things, a regime of tele-technological representation: a multilayered constellation of institutions, technologies, and practices through which mediatized phenomena come to varying degrees of visibility for many heterogeneous audiences, the whole dominated, unevenly but pervasively, by American commercial, financial, political, cultural, military, and linguistic power.

Keywords:   September 11, spectacle, terrorism, world order, tele-technological representation, virtual trauma, mourning

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