Nothing But Terror

Yesterday, I finished teaching Henry James' ambiguous ghost story "The Turn of the Screw" and finished reading The Looming Tower: Al -Qaeda and the Road to 9 / 11, and while both works focus on the theme of terror, they are exact opposites; "The Turn of the Screw" is purposefully obtuse, and relies on the reader's imagination to create the terror, while Lawrence Wright's account is definitive, comprehensive, and precisely detailed . . . and though you know exactly what happens at the climax, his description of 9/11 is so photo-realistic that it brings back all the terror of that day; in short, when you finish "The Turn of the Screw," you know nothing -- except that human perception is a bewildering puzzle to untangle, while at the end of The Looming Tower, you know why Osama bin Laden  was able to get jihadis to die for him (and I now realize why that Arab man approached my wife and I when we were at a gas station in the vast desert between Syria, Iraq, and Jordan and said, "You like bin Laden?" and then handed me his cell phone, which had a cartoonish graphic of the World Trade Center going down, followed by a caricature of bin Laden smiling . . . creepy, especially when you are taking a service taxi, so you can't leave until the driver is done buying candied dates, though you feel your life may be threatened) and now to complete my month of terror, I am going to finish watching Zero Dark Thirty and then watch Argo, both of which I have on Blu-ray from Netflix.


T.J. said...

Dammit, they took my comment.

zman said...

The night is dark and full of terrors.

Clarence said...

"My Turn to Screw" is Harry Reems' autobiography. "Argo" is Blackbeard's.

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