What is it about?

In this article I argue that Cavarero offers valuable resources for understanding the relationship between violence and narration, and why it is ethically important to narrate the lives of people who have experienced violence. Cavarero argues that this narration can maintain something of a person's uniqueness. However, she suggests that a uniqueness that isn't apprehended by another is a paradox. I argue that if we understand uniqueness as being excessive — emerging in relation to another, but not guaranteed by this other — then a uniqueness that isn't apprehended by another can be more than a paradox. I do this by reading a narrative of Miklós Nyiszli, who was a survivor of Auschwitz.

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Why is it important?

Cavarero's work is increasingly being read by an English audience: this article engages some of her most recent work on narration, comparing it to her earlier arguments on narration in her influential book Relating Narratives: Storytelling and Selfhood. Narration and uniqueness are at the heart of all of Cavarero's work, and as such this article makes a major contribution to understanding Cavarero's thought.


As well as engaging with some of the conceptual claims that Cavarero makes regarding violence, narration and uniqueness, this article was also an opportunity to put them to work in my reading of Miklós Nyiszli's narrative.

Dr Timothy J. Huzar
National Coalition of Independent Scholars

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Destruction, Narrative and the Excess of Uniqueness: Reading Cavarero on Violence and Narration, Critical Horizons, March 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/14409917.2018.1453292.
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