Floods, fortresses and cabin fever: worlding “Domeland” security in Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun and The Circle

Masterson, John (2016) Floods, fortresses and cabin fever: worlding “Domeland” security in Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun and The Circle. American Literary History, 28 (4). pp. 721-739. ISSN 0896-7148

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Abstract

This article offers a contrapuntal reading of Dave Eggers’s journalistic account Zeitoun and his novel The Circle. It considers how and why both are preoccupied with the kinds of (in)security discourses, stretching from Hurricane Katrina through the implosion of Syria and into imagined futures, that have shaped and continue to shape our cultural and geopolitical imaginaries. The article argues that Zeitoun and The Circle develop the transnational commitments of Eggers’s earlier work in particular ways. In so doing, both call upon their readers to challenge the reductive, invariably taxonomical rhetoric associated with the kinds of security questions that proliferate in the aftermath of events such as 9/11 and Katrina. By exploring what Rob Nixon calls a “transnational ethics of place” in these two texts, Eggers interrogates paradigms such as “development,” as well as affiliated ideas of US exceptionalism. In their formally and conceptually distinctive ways, I argue that both Zeitoun and The Circle ask readers to imagine the possibilities of “worlding” these discourses in more generative terms. By recalibrating some of the defining security questions of our time, Eggers invites us to conceptualize and engage with them more fully.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0185 By period > PS0229 21st century
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0360 Prose
P Language and Literature > PS American literature > PS0700 Individual authors > PS3600 2001-
Depositing User: John Masterson
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2016 07:17
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 15:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63165

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