The narrating image in a time of terror: Kathy Acker's "Blood and Guts in High School" and Steve Tomasula and Stephen Farrell's "Vas: An Opera in Flatland"
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In the following, I examine the role of images in Kathy Acker's 1984 Blood and Guts in High School and Steve Tomasula and Stephen Farrell's 2002 "imagetext" novel VAS: An Opera in Flatland in relation to post-September 11 th thought on the changing narrative ability of images. While neither Blood and Guts nor VAS present terrorism as such as a central aspect of their plot, both texts present the image as an alternative to traditional narratives in a manner that challenges the symbolic order of language to show exactly how images, as was the case with those from September 11 thaffect the "collective imagination" of those under Western hegemony. The first chapter, on Blood and Guts, utilizes post-September 11 th thought on the image in order to more fully develop the way Acker employs images to wage terror on the hegemonic ideal "traditional" textual narratives perpetuate in their very form. The second chapter analyzes Tomasula and Farrell's VAS in terms of the inclination toward bioterrorism that September 11 th launched into public consciousness. Relying on the interaction between text and image as well as the design of the book for its narrative mechanism, VAS illustrates the tenuous nexus on which biocybernetics and terrorism (via eugenics) merge into inseparable political and theoretical issues.