"The Law is just words after all": Torture, Truth, and Language in the Post-9/11 United States and Percival Everett's The Water Cure

Mcmahon, Wendy (2020) "The Law is just words after all": Torture, Truth, and Language in the Post-9/11 United States and Percival Everett's The Water Cure. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, 66 (3). pp. 499-526. ISSN 0026-7724

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Abstract

Through a reading of Percival Everett's experimental novel, The Water Cure, this essay argues for the need to interrogate the law as literature and language if we are to understand the moral permissibility of torture in the changed cultural and political understandings of war since 9/11. Working from the premise that the law and literature, through language and narrative, create social worlds and are worldmaking, this essay analyzes what happens to the law and narrative when the law writes torture into being. When confronted with the practice of torture, the novel ceases to be worldmaking and instead enacts the world unmade.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11; law; american literature; torture; percival everett,arts and humanities(all),literature and literary theory,law ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > American Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 09:30
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2020 01:06
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/70685
DOI: 10.1353/MFS.2020.0023

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