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Decoding International LawSemiotics and the Humanities$
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Susan Tiefenbrun

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385779.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 July 2021

State-sponsored terrorism, the laws of war, and the role of storytelling as a self-help remedyLaw, Literature, and Semiotics

State-sponsored terrorism, the laws of war, and the role of storytelling as a self-help remedyLaw, Literature, and Semiotics

Chapter:
(p.127) 4 STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM, THE LAWS OF WAR, AND THE ROLE OF STORYTELLING AS A SELF-HELP REMEDYLaw, Literature, and Semiotics
Source:
Decoding International Law
Author(s):

Susan Tiefenbrun

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385779.003.004

This chapter analyzes the principles of international humanitarian law as exemplified in the book and film called The Pianist. This method of analysis relating international law and literature is a variant form of semiotic analysis focusing on the signifier (the film and the novel) and on how the texts illustrate the signified (the international laws of war). In other words, the movie and the book are signifiers (like the letters of a word that are the outward representation of messages or signifieds). Within the texts there are many levels of relationships between the signifier and the signified that the reader and the movie viewer must work hard to identify in order to perceive the meanings of the texts. Thus, the reader and the movie viewer are creatively and actively involved in producing meaning. The international laws of war are the signifieds that can be perceived in many different variant art forms. The law and literature approach considers the artistic text as an illustration of legal principles according to basic semiotic principles.

Keywords:   international law, humanitarian law, human rights law, The Pianist, semiotic analysis

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