[-empyre-] Fwd: para empyre

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Nov 7 03:10:00 EST 2014

Erik writes,

9/11, as an act of terror, was recognizable because it was a clich? ? we 
had already seen it. Looking at the live broadcast: ?This must be a movie; 
this is just like a movie? but really ? ?This is just like a movie 
trailer.? Genocide testimonies (of both perpetrators and victims) can 
quickly fall to clich? ? rote chit. It is imperative that we don?t respond 
to the bad art of terror or art stunted by trauma with louder, counter 
terroristic or re-traumatizing clich?s. This runs the risk of keeping the 
disaster alive, Frankenstein fashion, as a patchwork of clich?s, 
sanctioned by a fortified culture of the beautiful, important, 
death-affirming clich?. [...]

We were in Miami at the time, watching CNN news, and 9/11 came on.
I can say, it never seemed like a cliche, it invaded the body, ate the 
body from within, devoured it, devoured any other thinking that might 
salvage. The cliche for me is the comparison, maybe months later, yes the 
iconography was there, but it's always there. But at the time, it didn't 
feel the slightest like a move, it was raw, it ate us alive.

Trauma is always already a repetition, there's no need for a reworking.
I can only give my reaction, and mention as well so many people in NYC out 
of touch, the cells were down, at least one friend talking about suicide, 

What has always bothered me about this and the USA in general is its 
self-victimization, its constant mourning, its mourning-monuments, its 
insistence on 'heroes,' and the way, for example, the public face of 9/11 
survivors has so often turned towards the fury of monument constructing, 
towards the right-wing as well. We can never, ever, accept the damage we 
inflict on others, as something that might occur to ourselves; we can 
never move on.

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