Roger Cohen: “Tell me your 9/11 and I’ll tell you who you are”

september 9, 2011

“Joseph Brodsky once wrote: “If there is any substitute for love, it’s memory. To memorize, then, is to restore intimacy.” That’s not a bad definition of what the best journalism does: restore intimacy. The Portraits of Grief that appeared in The New York Times for months after the attack hit home because they undercut, through the particulars of single lives, Stalin’s formula: Murder en masse and loss becomes a mere statistic.

There followed the nation’s loss — of direction. The early 20th century was a period of giddy American expansion. The early 21st century has been a period of gathering American doubt. The American Century is behind us; this one still seeks its epithet among the emergent powers. What role the attack played in this reshaping of the globe, and what part of it is attributable to the inexorable currents of history, is an open question.”

De columnist van de New York Times, Roger Cohen, over zijn 9/11. Lees op NYT.

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