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Remaking the re=cord: Emigrant fiction and restorative justice in the former Yugoslavia.

Golden, Audrey J
June 4, 2015

Source: (2014) Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Published online before print June 5, 2014, doi: 10.1177/1743872114535026.

As the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) nears its end, questions about victimhood and restorative justice remain salient. Can the law adequately attend to victim trauma? Focusing on the remedial notion of “making whole” a victim of atrocity, this article looks to Aleksandar Hemon’s first novel, The Question of Bruno (2000), to illuminate legal limitations to facilitating human recovery. Hemon is a Bosnian immigrant who departed Sarajevo in 1992 and began writing in English several years later. Exhibiting the fragmentation typical in postmodern fiction, Hemon’s work can be situated in a distinct literary moment. Yet the novel also creates new narrative forms that incorporate the reader in a restorative task. While considering the gaps in the remedial procedures at the ICTY, I argue that The Question of Bruno implores its reader to reconstruct a new kind of historical record that heals, while acknowledging the liminal spaces from which many victims speak and write. (author’s abstract)


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