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Human Rights, Inc.The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law$
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Joseph R. Slaughter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228171

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823228171.001.0001

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Normalizing Narrative Forms of Human Rights: The (Dys)Function of the Public Sphere

Normalizing Narrative Forms of Human Rights: The (Dys)Function of the Public Sphere

(p.140) CHAPTER 3 Normalizing Narrative Forms of Human Rights: The (Dys)Function of the Public Sphere
Human Rights, Inc.

Joseph R. Slaughter

Fordham University Press

The discussion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) forecasts some of this chapter's arguments about the role of the public sphere in normalizing and naturalizing common sense. The dramatic restaging of the discursive process in The Story I Am About to Tell is an extraordinary literary form for the story of incorporation. The Bildungsroman is the more ordinary story form of incorporation for a democratic social order that either is already established (and generally perceived as legitimate) or is coming to birth in a timeframe somewhat longer than that of a new South Africa. Theoretically, the liberal public sphere is a sociocivic story space that connects personal biography and nation-statist historiography. Historically, the affirmative Bildungsroman is the liberal public sphere's most favored novelistic form for plotting human personality development and the acquisition of civil and human dignity as the normative story of modern socialization, liberation, and emancipation.

Keywords:   Truth and Reconciliation Commission, public sphere, incorporation, Bildungsroman, South Africa, human personality, normative story, socialization, liberation, emancipation

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