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The Second Plane: September 11, 2001-2007 (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 2009

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Essential reading" (Observer)

"Possibly the most fully engaged writer of our age" (David Aaronovitch The Times)

"Trenchant, deeply informed and informative...an important volume" (Independent on Sunday)

"A stylist with the trick of defamiliarising the familiar, he is also a keen student of the public realm...we should prize him - for his engagement as well as his gifts" (Guardian)

"Entertaining, witty, thoughtful and sometimes discomforting" (Independent)

Biographie de l'auteur

Martin Amis is the author of thirteen novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories and six collections of non-fiction, most recently The Second Plane. He lives in New York.

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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Provocative and Rewarding 27 mars 2008
Par Ethan Cooper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
THE SECOND PLANE is made up of 12 essays and two short stories, all exploring the issue of Islamism. To paraphrase Wikipedia, this is the belief that "...Islam is not only a religion but a political system. Its proponents believe that western military, economic, political, social, and cultural influences in the Muslim world are un-Islamic and should be replaced by purely Islamic influences." For Amis, Islamism has these features. But its primary characteristic is violent extremism.

The subtitle for this book, September 11: 2001-2007, explains what Amis is up to. In his own words, he is presenting a "narrative of misery, and also of desperate fascination" on the currents flowing into and out of 9/11. What was surprising to me is that his essays don't read like yesterday's news. Instead, his pieces, many appearing first in The Times or The Guardian, are built on fundamentals that, in America, are often obscured as our politicians and their hacks justify or attack policy for short-term political gain. Here's a sample of Mart's thoughts:

o "We are arriving at an axiom in long-term thinking about international terrorism: the real danger lies, not in what it inflicts, but in what it provokes. Thus by far the gravest consequence of September 11, to date, is Iraq."

o "Why, in our current delirium of faith and fear, would Bush want things to become more theological rather than less theological? The answer is clear enough in human terms: to put it crudely, it makes him feel easier about being intellectually null. He wants geopolitics to be less about the intellect, and more about gut-instincts and beliefs--because he knows he's got them."

o "We may compare radical Islam with ... Bolshevism and Nazism (to each of which Islamism is indebted). Of the many affinities that emerge, we may list, to begin, some secondary characteristics. The exaltation of a godlike leader; the demand, not just for submission to the cause, but for utter transformation in its name; a self-pitying romanticism; a hatred of liberal society, individualism, and affluent inertia; an obsession with sacrifice and martyrdom; a morbid adolescent rebelliousness combined with a childish love of destruction...But these are incidentals. Thanatism derives its real energy, its fever and its magic, from something far more radical.... I mean the rejection of reason."

As a Yank living in New York, I don't see Amis much on TV in his role of wise man and commentator. Instead, Mart, for me, largely remains a novelist. As a result, I was also happy to see Amis make a few literary asides in THE SECOND PLANE. Here's one:

o "Commentators respond, not to the novel, but to its personnel, whom they want to `care about', in whom they want to `believe'. Such remarks as `I didn't like the characters' are now thought capable of settling the hash of a work of fiction. This critical approach will eventually elicit what it fully deserves--a literature of ingratiation."

This is very high-level and interesting work and recommended.
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