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A Decade of Dark HumorHow Comedy, Irony, and Satire Shaped Post-9/11 America$
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Ted Gournelos and Viveca Greene

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030062

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030062.001.0001

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Laughs, Tears, and Breakfast Cereals

Laughs, Tears, and Breakfast Cereals

Rethinking Trauma and Post-9/11 Politics in Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers

(p.80) (p.81) Chapter Five Laughs, Tears, and Breakfast Cereals
A Decade of Dark Humor

Ted Gournelos

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter argues that the 9/11 terrorist attacks must be viewed not as a “traumatic” event, but as a violation of everyday life that was quickly co-opted into a cynical project to depict the attacks as a nationalist landmark. Drawing on Art Spiegelman’s use of irony in his 2004 serial comics In the Shadow of No Towers (2004), it highlights the need to rethink post-9/11 trauma, politics, and popular culture. It discusses Spiegelman’s contention that his everyday experiences of fragmentation displace any feelings of retreat, complacency, or fear, resulting in an uncritical acceptance of nationalism and, eventually, unjust war.

Keywords:   irony, 9/11, everyday life, Art Spiegelman, In the Shadow of No Towers, trauma, politics, popular culture, nationalism, comics

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