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In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
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In the Shadow of No Towers (2004)

by Art Spiegelman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,016218,374 (3.65)20
  1. 00
    Premediation by Richard Grusin (LitPeejster)
    LitPeejster: Grusin establishes his media theory of premediation in part through a "close reading" of this collection of comic panels Spiegelman created in the first few years after 9/11.
  2. 01
    Parallel Lines by Nina Davenport (marieke54)
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Read for the 2015 reading challenge. ( )
  Hellen0 | Jun 22, 2016 |
"In the Shadow of No Towers" finds acclaimed comic artist Spiegelman venting, processing and reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001, which he witnessed first-hand as a long-time New York City resident.

In this book, Spiegelman returns to his roots as an active figure in the underground comix scene of the 60s and 70s; the stories in "In the Shadow of No Towers" are far more experimental and unconventional than those of his better known works. ( )
  jasonli | Nov 10, 2014 |
Art Spielgelman was living in New York near the twin towers on Setember 11 2001. His daughter was attending school right next to them when they fell. This small collection of double-paged full-colour comics documents Spielgelman's response to the shock of the event, and to political events in the USA subsequent to it. It provides some insights into the feelings of New Yorkers at the time. Spiegelman himself writes that he was shocked back into writing comics and smoking, The attack filled him with fear and paranoia. He was angered by the politics of terrorism. He also realised that he loved his city and wouldn't leave it. I found this to be an interesting but strange book, each double spread physically huge but the book itself not long enough for the topic. ( )
  questbird | Oct 20, 2012 |
Fascinating book - deals with another trauma, after MAUS which is concerned with World War II, this time 9/11 is the central theme. Spiegelman makes interesting connections to his earlier work and other literary works (for example, he talks about the albatross hanging on his neck - this is a reference to Coleridge's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, I believe). Absolutely a must-read if you're into this sort of books! ( )
  Suz615 | Jun 11, 2012 |
This highly underrated work, by the acclaimed author of Maus, can easily be written off as a shallow account of september 11th donning an strange end-cap on comics history. To conceive it as such ignores many of the formal and structural elements Spiegelman employs to add density to what is otherwise a relatively short text.

The size and weight (literal) of this book were no accident. Reading it on my pillow I felt engulfed by it and my arms quickly tired under its mass. Beyond this obvious structural metaphor the book itself is divided into two parts each prefaced by a substantial text introduction.

The first part is a frenetic comic manifestation of the September 11th events as well as the emotional bedlam with which they endued the author. **Spoiler** These pages are peppered with what appear to be non-sequitir shifts in imagery that only become meaningful when one reads the second half of the book **Spoiler Over**

The second half of the book, upon an uncritical reading, seems to be nothing more than a tangentially relevant history of the comic medium. In fact every obscure comic that Spiegelman digs up is apposite not just to the events themselves and his experience of them, **Spoiler** but the imagery resonates directly with the the non-sequitirs from the first half of the book. I find it interesting to that in order to read the second half of the book you must turn it on its side (as if the book itself has fallen over). ( )
1 vote rores28 | Aug 26, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Spiegelman, ArtAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
SOARES, ANTONIO DE MACEDOTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For F, N & D, As Always
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I tend to be easily unhinged.
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Doomed! Doomed to drag this damned albatross around my neck, and compulsively retell the calamities of September 11th to anyone who'll still listen!
They passed some guy on Canal Street painting the towers. Glancing south, they could only see the billowing toxic smoke . . . the damned model had moved.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375423079, Board book)

Catastrophic, world-altering events like the September 11 attacks on the United States place the millions of us who experience them on the "fault line where World History and Personal History collide." Most of us, however, cannot document that intersection with the force, compression, and poignancy expressed in Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers. As in his Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, cartoonist Spiegelman presents a highly personalized, political, and confessional diary of his experience of September 11 and its aftermath. In 10 large-scale pages of original, hard hitting material (composed from September 11, 2001 to August 31, 2003), two essays, and 10 old comic strip reproductions from the early 20th century, Spiegelman expresses his feelings of dislocation, grief, anxiety, and outrage over the horror of the attacks---and the subsequent "hijacking" of the event by the Bush administration to serve what he believes is a misguided and immoral political agenda. Readers who agree with Spiegelman's point of view will marvel at the brilliance of his images and the wit and accuracy of his commentary. Others, no doubt, will be jolted by his candor and, perhaps, be challenged to reexamine their position.

The central image in the sequence of original broadsides, which returns as a leitmotif in each strip, is Spiegelman's Impressionistic "vision of disintegration," of the North Tower, its "glowing bones...just before it vaporized." (As downtown New Yorkers, Spiegelman and his family experienced the event firsthand.) But the images and styles in the book are as fragmentary and ever-shifting as Spiegelman's reflections and reactions. The author's closing comment that "The towers have come to loom far larger than life...but they seem to get smaller every day" reflects a larger and more chilling irony that permeates In the Shadow of No Towers. Despite the ephemeral nature of the comic strip form, the old comics at the back of the book have outlasted the seemingly indestructible towers. In the same way, Spiegelman's heartfelt impressions have immortalized the towers that, imponderably, have now vanished. --Silvana Tropea

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

For Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were both highly personal and intensely political. In the Shadow of No Towers, his first new book of comics since the groundbreaking Maus, is a masterful and moving account of the events and aftermath of that tragic day. Spiegelman and his family bore witness to the attacks in their lower Manhattan neighborhood: his teenage daughter had started school directly below the towers days earlier, and they had lived in the area for years. But the horrors they survived that morning were only the beginning for Spiegelman, as his anguish was quickly displaced by fury at the U.S. government, which shamelessly co-opted the events for its own preconceived agenda. He responded in the way he knows best. In an oversized, two-page-spread format that echoes the scale of the earliest newspaper comics (which Spiegelman says brought him solace after the attacks), he relates his experience of the national tragedy in drawings and text that convey-with his singular artistry and his characteristic provocation, outrage, and wit-the unfathomable enormity of the event itself, the obvious and insidious effects it had on his life, and the extraordinary, often hidden changes that have been enacted in the name of post-9/11 national security and that have begun to undermine the very foundation of American democracy.… (more)

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