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Fictions of DignityEmbodying Human Rights in World Literature$
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Elizabeth S. Anker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451362

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451362.001.0001

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Small Places, Close to Home

Small Places, Close to Home

(p.220) Coda Small Places, Close to Home
Fictions of Dignity

Elizabeth S. Anker

Cornell University Press

This book has demonstrated how an “embodied politics of reading” can negotiate broad questions about social justice. It has suggested how narrative literature might replenish and recuperate our increasingly depleted cultural and social imaginaries, counteracting the very patterns of which Arundhati Roy despairs in Field Notes on Democracy (2009). To conclude, it asks a number of questions, such as what sort of ethic, or wider fabric of commitments, can ultimately be extracted from a politics of reading; what values and ideals are ancillary to a hermeneutic attention to embodiment; and how a vision of social justice it has articulated might be located within the larger intellectual and political evolution of human rights. Finally, it considers Maurice Merleau-Ponty's reflections on the contemporary discourses of human rights and especially his insistence that we need to reorient talk of human rights closer to the ground, away from both the idealism and the platitudes in which politics often deals.

Keywords:   embodied politics of reading, social justice, narrative literature, Arundhati Roy, embodiment, human rights, Maurice Merleau-Ponty

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