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Drawing the Line

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 sociopolitical 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 postapartheid 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 conversation with debates in critical theory and continental philosophy, asking: What challenge do these South African acts of signification and resignification pose to current literary-philosophical debates?
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 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 4. Intersections: Ethics and Aesthetics 5. Poets, Philosophers, and Other Animals Part III: Lines of Force 6. Visible and Invisible: What Surfaces in Three Johannesburg Novels? 7. Who Are We? Conclusion Notes References Index

Promotional Information

Makes a contribution to contemporary aesthetic discourses through conversations on the borderlines of philosophy and literature, literature and the law, law and politics, politics and justice, justice and art in post -apartheid South Africa.

About the Author

Carrol Clarkson is Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Cape Town.


"What makes Clarkson's project truly dialogical--and what distinguishes it from a number of other analyses of contemporary South African culture and literature--is that she both reads South African culture in terms of theory but also examines and, indeed displays, what South African culture might also offer theory."-Russell Samolsky, University of California, Santa Barbara "One rarely comes across work of such intelligence and imagination. This book is beautifully written and one finds oneself forever being caught out by wonderful and unpredicted connections, turns of phrase, the ease and acuity with which insights from disparate fields are brought together and developed."-Emilios Christodoulidis, University of Glasgow

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