JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 317
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preserve the difference of the past while simultaneously generating an
understanding that conforms and expands the vocabulary of the present,
hermeneutics appears to offer a thorough lesson to our concern for writing
the event. But the hermeneutical response-as I will unfold-is ulti-
mately concerned with transmitting the past (the alien) into the present so
that a shared understanding (tradition) can be continued and expanded.
Much like Osiel's pedagogical concern to preserve and transmit our
liberal stories through the law, Gadamerian hermeneutics seeks the
continuity of our tradition through the preservation and transmission of
the genres (laws) of interpretation and understanding. What are the
ethical consequences of this proposal?
In what follows, I will attempt to work through and consider the
indelible limits that face those who interpret and write about a traumatic
past primarily as a means for facilitating a shared lesson, understanding,
or discursive solidarity within the cover of our morality. This initially will
be a speculative exploration that will stage thought thinking the limits of
its thinking as it moves from ontology to ethics. By thus rehearsing the
limits of the hermeneutical proposal, I will be attempting to expose the
ethical necessity for historical writing to bear witness to an exterior point,
to an alien imperative, that is beyond meaning, understanding, or any-
thing that we might share in common. Although a large part of my
argument is rhetorically staged in a non-descriptive form, it nevertheless
is written with the concern for a specific set of problematics that face the
particular material site of post trauma societies. The ethical conun-
drum-discussed above-of attempting to transmit a socially traumatic
event through the pedagogical forum of the law will be concretely
unfolded in the last section. The discussion is thus divided into four
sections: a consideration of what it means to link onto or make a comment
upon texts that command us to think beyond our present understanding;
an account of what Gadamerian hermeneutics proposes for transmitting
the past as one of the shared concerns of the present; a consideration of
what the (ethical) implications might be for a way of writing that comes
before a Law that commands and defers beyond meaning or any shared
understanding; a discussion of the fact that the trial of the military in
Argentina is often read through the hermeneutical claims of an "educative
dialogue" that champions social unanimity and mutual understanding (I
discuss through specific examples from the trial what remains outside of
the progressive enlargement of "discursive solidarity").
In order to walk somewhat less perplexed into the mire of historical
transmission, for the speculative part ofthe argument (the first half), I will
Here’s what’s next.
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Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.). JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004, periodical, 2004; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28644/m1/63/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .