This article discusses the texts La Hora Azul by Alonso Cueto and Jardin Secret by Julien Kilanga Musinde within the context of postwar narratives emerging from histories of armed conflicts in Peru and Congo. The article focuses primarily on both authors' interweaving of formalistic aspects and complex narrative motifs in order to articulate an ethics of recognition that is indispensable in the reimagination of an inclusive nation in postwar contexts. Through an intertextual analysis of salient aspects such as the face-to-face encounter of self-other a la Levinas and the conceit of family–nation, the article argues that the preoccupation of the authors is less with the epic violence from which these narratives historically emerge than with the normalized forms of violence that have pitted sociopolitical relations in postcolonial nations. Thus, inclusive processes of reconciliation in the sense propounded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Peru can only be possible through a self-reflexive examination of the sociopolitical habitus of the nation and the sedimented cultures/politics of exclusion that are responsible for the cracks within the imagination of the nation that make the resurgence of violent conflicts a persistent and immanent reality.

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