Law and Literature (3rd Edition) by Richard A. Posner

By Richard A. Posner

Hailed in its first version as an “outstanding paintings, as stimulating because it is intellectually distinguished” (New York Times), Law and Literature has handily lived as much as the Washington Post’s prediction that the booklet could “remain crucial analyzing for a few years to come.” This 3rd variation, largely revised and enlarged, is the one accomplished book-length therapy of the sector. It keeps to stress the basic modifications among legislations and literature, that are rooted within the varied social features of felony and literary texts. however it additionally explores components of mutual illumination and expands its diversity to incorporate new issues reminiscent of the tough and weird punishments clause of the structure, unlawful immigration, surveillance, worldwide warming and bioterrorism, and plagiarism.

during this version, literary works from classics via Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dostoevsky, Melville, Kafka, and Camus to modern fiction through Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, and Joyce Carol Oates come less than Richard Posner’s scrutiny, as does the movie The Matrix.

The e-book is still the main transparent, acute account of the intersection of legislation and literature.

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But one must be careful to specify the level at which law is a universal subject. It is not the operating level, the level at which judges and lawyers go about their professional tasks. The doctrines and procedures that preoccupy lawyers, judges, and 26. This is a major theme of Rónán McDonald, The Death of the Critic (2007). Reflections of Law in Literature l 31 law professors have changed greatly since identifiable legal institutions first emerged in Western society, but the broad features of law have not.

200). But the fact that interpretation of a text requires consideration of context does not mean that it is no ­longer just the text that is being interpreted, or that it cannot be interpreted without interpreting American culture as a whole. Most of the theorists of interpretation whom Binder and Weisberg discuss are philosophers or law professors rather than literary scholars. In an attempt to tie back the book’s theoretical meander to literature, the authors devote particular attention to legal theorist Ronald Dworkin’s analogy of constitutional interpretation to writing a chain novel.

Bradshaw, note 16 above, at 297 n. 49; Janet Clare, “Art Made Tongue-Tied by Authority”: Elizabethan and Jacobean Dramatic Censorship 214 (1990). Taylor could adduce this as another example of Shakespeare’s good luck in the marketplace of reputations. One way that censorship fosters ambiguity in literary expression, as Clare points out, is by encouraging the writer to set his work in a culturally or temporally remote setting, such as ancient Rome, prehistoric En­gland (King Lear), Italy, Catholic Vienna, or medieval (hence Catholic) Denmark.

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