Terror in the Symbolic: Re-evaluating the Rubble of 9/11

Goetter, Matthew
Since language is not real, but in a Lacanian sense, a re-presentation, its ability to create a reality is critically questionable. If it is the case that the real does not exist because it precedes language and cannot be subject to languages' symbolic construction, then we must challenge those communications that claim the opposite. Specifically, the government-sponsored media that depends upon the ability to convert 'real events' into symbolic currency, wasted in the endless pursuit of fantastical desires. When the 'skies are seeded with terror,' it is the task of rational people to divorce our reality from the real, to imagine the event prior to its symbolization, to interrogate the event of its being. To talk about the consequences of 9/11 precisely demonstrates the difference between the real and symbolic orders. One could consider the events of the day, or their interpretation through 'effects.' The primary symbol that will be examined in this paper is the collapsing of the three WTC towers. Considering the terrorist event itself was a media spectacle, to recognize the fiction of 9/11 is the task of this paper, to divorce the symbol, and its spectacular fiction from its reality.
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