Foer and Adams: Using Art To Communicate About 9/11

Without a doubt, 9/11 was a very jarring event. It was sudden and shocking and millions did not know how to deal with the plethora of feelings
inside them afterwards. Therefore, I found it quite interesting that both Foer and Adams used art to try to make sense of things, for themselves and others.

Both Foer and Adams (through writing and music, respectively) attempted to reach out to their audience and help them clear up the confusion and chaos within them (“give them a sense of serenity”, to paraphrase from Adams’ interview). Both works also place great emphasis on memory, and how these memories link all of us, who in some way were affected by the tragedy. In his interview, Adams suggests a connection between the living and the dead. Both were transformed by 9/11. Therefore the title of his song “On The Transmigration of Souls”, he means all of us as well, the individuals who have changed because of 9/11.

Since both Foer and Adams focus on memory, they use different mediums to get this point across. Foer’s work contains text, photography, and manipulation of words on the page. Adams’ work contains music, recitation, and photography as well. Both are firm believers in the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”.