JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 345
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position. It is from here that we encounter the "difficulties ... related to
the limit, the problematic limit between an inside and an outside" (196).
This sense of justice is thus stirred, not with or toward "discursive
solidarity," but rather by an exposure to an obligation, to an exterior point,
which cannot be wholly accessed by a finite set of"characteristics" or by
"qualities" that can be recognized orjustified within our present vocabu-
lary. Because this obligation does not require or depend on any binding
meaning (characteristics, or qualities that would obligate it), the impera-
tive of this obligation is wholly other. It commands not through what we
mutually share (through some discursive hermeneutics), not because of
our engagements within our institutions or norms (not because of a law),
but through a recognition of the call (the face) of the other as an
imperative. The ethical manifestation, implicit through this other sense of
justice, is thus not predicated on any preexisting grounds; rather, it
commands and requests a non-indifference to the other that-precisely
through its otherness-interrupts the self-complacency of our common
grounds. This acknowledges the tension between what remains to be
expressed and the idiom that is supposed to be common to all: a
recognition that the framework of political representation is constituted
against an excluded other, which cannot yet be phrased.
University of Toronto
1. For an account of the issues and debates raised around the instigation of
criminal prosecutions and truth commissions as a means of coming to terms with
the past, see: Osiel, "Why"; Hayner; Roht-Arriaza. With regard to those who
propose criminal prosecution as instigating an educative forum and consensual
process for appreciating and building solidarity around the deliberative prin-
ciples of democracy, see Osiel, "Making" and Mass; Nino; Orentlicher.
2. Marguerite Bouvard recounts a conversation with a member of the
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, who explained to her that their
slogan, which demanded the return of the "disappeared" alive, was in truth
"asking a question of those who do not wish to answer it and questioning a whole
system which generated a savage repression" (147). Bouvard comments, "The
slogan was a response to the junta's mythologizing of reality, most especially to
its campaign of denials during the terror. It was also a reaction to the legislation
under Alfonsin transforming the 'disappeared' into victims of murder. . . . In
demanding the return of their children alive, the Mothers insisted upon re-
creating and reasserting the complexity of reality, the shades of differentiation
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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/m1/91/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .