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9/11 and Collective Memory from Abroad in Come From Away

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(1), pp.33-57
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 15, 2021
  • Accepted : April 14, 2021
  • Published : April 30, 2021

Kim JaeKyoung 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper explores 9/11 and collective memory from abroad in Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s musical, Come From Away (2013). As a musical written in a verbatim style, it stresses its distinct feature of being based on the true story of people who experienced 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland. Sankoff and Hein edited, rearranged, combined, and recontextualized the interviews, which they collected in 2011, and used them to create a moving communal story with verbatim spoken text and music. In this process, the selected interviewees’ individual stories are staged from multiple perspectives and then merged into a communal experience, creating emotional support. Through Avishai Margalit’s collective memory theory, this paper examines how individual memories based on fear from terrorism turn into collective memory with humanistic caring. Using an examination of the universal trauma spread through the media during 9/11, this article traces individual traumas of the American come-from-aways by focusing on how their private and fragmentary memories represent the voices of a particular group of people in America and analyzes the screech-in ritual that motivates people to create collective memories and shared strength to overcome trauma. Focusing on the come-from-aways’ traumas and collective memories of the 9/11 attacks and how these memories are recreated through the authors, I argue that Come From Away stresses that solidarity beyond nationality can overcome terrorism through humanism.

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