Rebirth of the Nouveau Roman: 9/11 as a Crisis of Confidence in American Literary Aesthetics

Daniel Davis Wood
This article argues that 9/11 created a crisis of confidence amongst writers of American fiction by problematizing literary realism’s claims to verisimiltude and so undermining it as a plausible and credible mode of fiction. Surveying the post-9/11 debate over the merits and shortcomings of realism, this article suggests that the unlikely beneficiary of this crisis of confidence has been the contemporary nouveau roman, a mode of fiction that originates from within the literary traditions of...
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