Drawing the line : toward an aesthetics of transitional justice
Fordham University Press, New York, 2014,xiii, 204 pp: il.
Drawing the Line examines the ways in which cultural, political, and legal lines are imagined, drawn, crossed, erased, and redrawn in post-apartheid South Africa— through literary texts, artworks, and other forms of cultural production. Under the rubric of a philosophy of the limit, and with reference to a range of signifying acts and events, this book asks what it takes to recalibrate a socio-political scene, shifting perceptions of what counts and what matters, of what can be seen and heard, of what can be valued or regarded as meaningful. The book thus argues for an aesthetics of transitional justice and makes an appeal for a post-apartheid aesthetic inquiry, as opposed to simply a political or a legal one. Each chapter brings a South African artwork, text, speech, building, or social encounter into the ambit of topical conversations in critical theory and continental philosophy, asking: What challenge do these South African acts of signification and resignification pose, and what contribution do they make to current literary-philosophical thinking?
Part I Drawing the Line
1. Drawing the Line
2. Redrawing the Lines
Part II Crossing the Line
3- Justice and the Art of Transition
5. Poets, Philosophers, and Other Animals
Part III Lines of Force
6. Visible and Invisible
7. Who Are We?
Carrol Clarkson is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Cape Town.