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„Not just as it was, but better, far better“

Redemption und Resilience in Dave Eggersʼ ‚Zeitoun‘

Michael Basseler

Pages 297 - 312

This article deals with the question of how notions of ‘the good life’ are increasingly framed by political actors in terms of adaptation and resilience, and how literary texts intervene in exploring the cultural underpinnings as well as the broader social ramifications of such resilience- thinking. Taking Dave Eggers’ non-fiction novel ‚Zeitoun‘ as a case in point, I argue that literary texts play a significant role in foregrounding, reflecting, and critiquing the cultural narratives and systems of idea that frame ‘the good life’ in culturally specific terms. The article analyses how Eggers, in his portrayal of the Syrian immigrant Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s experiences in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, draws on the ‘redemptive self’ as a narrative identity that echoes some of the key ideas prevalent in recent resilience-thinking in the US.


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