Finding the Right Words

MURDO MACLEOD

FRINGE: Nelson's The Guys, starring Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, was at Edinburgh

After the immediate shock," says best-selling British novelist Iain Banks, "I thought, 'Thank goodness I'm not writing a book at the moment' because you just think, 'What's the point?'" A year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the arts community — including Banks, whose novel Dead Air comes out Sept. 5 — is among those starting to recover from creative numbness. And European screens, stages and pages are starting to see the result.

The responses seem to fall into three main categories. The first is epitaph-like memorials of the day itself, such as Anne Nelson's salute to...

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