The Mythical Fall and Don DeLillo’s Falling Man: Mediations on Narratives of Violence and Human Rights

Debopriya Banerjee

Post-doctoral Fellow, IISER Bhopal, M.P. Email:

Volume 11, Number 1, 2019 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v11n1.06


The spectacular impact of the fall of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was felt in a wide variety of domains trying to grapple the political, literal, and figural ruins and reformulating a post-Holocaust trauma and memory studies. While the experience and representations of trauma have always been a potential site for the interface between the tenets of human dignity, justice and literary text, this incident has also brought to the fore the radical embodied politics of suicide missions. Drawing insights from the contemporary studies of human rights which focus on the paradoxical erasure of embodied human experience, this article explores how Don DeLillo’s novel Falling Man fictionalizes the conflicting embodied experience of the victim and the aggressor against the colossal visual impact of the fall of the towers.

Keywords: 9/11 and literature, embodiment, trauma, human rights, spectacle