Unspeakable: Fiction and the Representation of Terrorism explores the representation of terrorism in plays, novels and films across the centuries. Time and time again, writers and filmmakers including William Shakespeare, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, Gillo Pontecorvo, Don DeLillo, John Updike, and Steven Spielberg refer to terrorist acts as beyond comprehension, "a deed without a name," but they do not stop there. Instead of creating works that respond to terrorism by providing comforting narratives reassuring audiences and readers of their moral superiority and the perfidy of the terrorists, these writers and filmmakers confront the unspeakable by attempting to see the world from the terrorist’s perspective and examining the roots of terrorist violence.
Chapter 1: Introduction: Speakable/Unspeakable: The Rhetoric of Terrorism
Chapter 2: "A Deed without a Name": Macbeth and the Unspeakable Gunpowder Plot
Chapter 3: Terrorism and Dynamite: From the French Revolution to Conrad
Chapter 4: When Terror Becomes Speakable: Algeria
Chapter 5: Israel/Palestine: Unspeakability in John le Carré, The Little Drummer Girl, Steven Spielberg, Munich; Yasmina Khadra, The Attack
Chapter 6: "Why do they hate us?": Updike, Hamid, and DeLillo
Chapter 7: Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here? Amy Waldman, The Submission; Nadeem Aslam, The Blind Man’s Garden