got 102 minutes?: memory gaps lead to one big hole

It’s been a continuing interest of mine to research on all things 9/11, and over the past couple of years I’ve amassed quite a lot of fictional and non-fictional visual and textual material on the subject. I’ll reserve another post to talk about why the interest and what I want to get out of it, but in my first post in this section I want to record my sentiments after just recently finishing Jess Walter’s The Zero.

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One of the unusual things about the book is that it never mentions 9/11 by name, and yet everything in it is literally haunted by the Unsaid. I also like the non-linear, somewhat random textual structure that the author has chosen to employ: the lead character suffers from these gaps in his memory that see him, and the reader, flit through discrete yet mysteriously connected events in his life in the aftermath of the attacks. While some readers will hate the disjuncts between narrative events and their (proper) connections, I find it a fitting tribute to an ongoing attempt to understand 9/11: common yet uncommon, pregnant with meaning yet (dare I say this?) perhaps ultimately not being able to deliver An Ultimate Meaning that everyone can agree upon, and always, the swirling randomness of our lives, or our attempts at denying connectedness to each soul of humanity.

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