Friday, 13 September 2013

extremely loud and incredibly close - jonathan safran foer and the falling man of 9/11

I got into reading 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' (by Jonathan Safran Foer) just before Channel 4 started showing films and documentaries about 9/11, and didn't realise when l started reading it, that there was any connection to the destruction of The World Trade Centre (but there is).
A young boys father has been killed (guess where and how), and the boy (Oskar Scell) then finds a key that his father had hidden in a vase, and wonders what it will open. As the envelope it was contained in had the word 'Black' written on it, he assumes that must be someone who his father knew, so goes out on a long, long search around New York to try and find them. I really enjoyed the book, as it kept you absorbed and guessing, so I won't give the outcome away, but at the end of the book there are numerous pictures of a man falling from the twin towers, which coincidentally led on nicely to 'The Falling Man' documentary which was broadcast just as l finished the book.

That concerned the identity of the falling man that was originally shown in 'The Morning Call' newspaper in the States, but subsequently seen all around the world.  There were viewpoints on whether the photograph should have been printed, and there was a (you would imagine) impossible search to try and find out who the man was. However, once a couple of suspects had been mooted and family and friends questioned, there was also the consequences of the harm and hurt the families might suffer if the mans identity was confirmed which had to be taken into consideration.  Maybe it is better for all involved not to know, and have him represent other victims, the way that 'The Unknown Soldier' does.  Of course there was the dilemma that some family members who were Catholic and did not want to think their relative had committed suicide, as that was a sin and their soul would 'Go to Hell', which puts another slant on the need to identify the jumper. In the end, the identity was left open, despite some decent evidence, and that was probably for the best.
It must have taken some nerve to jump, but l would rather have done that myself than staying in the building and burning.

As a sidenote, one of the adverts inbetween the programme started with 'Jump into a world of choice...'
How ironic.

toodle pip

No comments: