JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 344
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dejected ways of speaking which, in their very "incapacity" to provide
"evidence," signal to what cannot be defined or annotated within the
hermeneutical protocols of liberal morality or within the boundaries of
the national imaginary. To justify the commemorative lesson of the trial
within the principles of institutional coherence, and within the "enabling
constraints" of the law, necessarily simplifies one memory of the past
over those excluded from the trial's performativity. Hence, those in-
stances that contradict or complicate the desire to bracket the Argentine
authoritarian ethos as an aberrant period are smothered by the concilia-
tory memory of our true and founding values in the law-our (imagined)
liberal institutions, traditions, and norms. And yet, the other remains
(returns), for, quite obviously, the fragments and traces that unwork the
certainties ofa narrative that foster discursive solidarity and liberal norms
can always be "read" through what remains. But this "reading" is never
a straightforward one. Rather, it is stirred (affected) by a recognition of
the limits and the ruptures that reemerge from what was cast-out. This
"reading" involves one in the process of "bearing witness" to those
enunciations that cannot be represented by what "we" understand. Thus,
when we "read" a narrative that claims to have disclosed a "truth" that
"feeds public discussion and generates a collective consciousness" (Nino
147), or when we "read" the trial as a mnemonic device for staging the
principles of liberal morality (Osiel, Mass), we realize that a wrong has
been committed against those (non)utterances that unwork the certainties
and primary position of our vocabulary. In realizing that a wrong has been
committed-that a narrative that aspires to condense the multiple dis-
crepancies and (non)utterances into any "discursive solidarity," into any
unifying project, does violence to the other-we are summoned or stirred
by the specter of "justice."
But this is a wholly other idea of justice, one that moves beyond the
notion ofthe application and deliberation oflegalj ustificatory arguments
and precedents, to an idea ofj ustice as an ethics that comes before the law,
as an imperative of the Law that overflows the law. Justice here functions
as a residual force that recalls that we are first and foremost caught in our
secondariness, in our obligation of response to the other. As Derrida
writes of the annotation, secondariness is its common law: it can only
respond; it cannot speak first; it is a discourse of "respondents" ("This"
201). Rather than a settlement within the origins of our terms, the concern
here is toward a sense of justice, a sense of writing, that is motivated by
the infinite (ungraspable) obligation that is due, by the justice that is
lacking, by the response that is awaited and that determines our secondary
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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/m1/90/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .