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Law and Literature


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Table of Contents

* Contents * Preface * Critical Introduction Part I. Literary Texts as Legal Texts * Reflections of Law in Literature Theoretical Considerations The American Legal Novel The Law in Popular Culture Camus and Stendhal Farcical Trials * Law's Beginnings: Revenge as Legal Prototype and Literary Genre The Logic of Revenge Revenge Literature The Iliad and Hamlet * Antinomies of Legal Theory Jurisprudential Drama from Sophocles to Shelley Has Law Gender? * The Limits of Literary Jurisprudence Kafka Dickens Wallace Stevens * Literary Indictments of Legal Injustice Law and Ressentiment Romantic Values in Literature and Law Billy Budd, The Brothers Karamazov, and Law's Limits * Two Legal Perspectives on Kafka On Reading Kafka Politically In Defense of Classical Liberalism The Grand Inquisitor and Other Social Theorists * Penal Theory in Paradise Lost The Punishment of Satan and His Followers The Punishment of Man The Punishment of the Animals Part II. Legal Texts as Literary Texts * Interpreting Contracts, Statutes, and Constitutions Interpretation Theorized What Can Law Learn from Literary Criticism? Chain Novels and Black Ink Interpretation as Translation * Judicial Opinions as Literature Meaning, Style, and Rhetoric Aesthetic Integrity and the "Pure" versus the "Impure" Style Two Cultures Part III. How Else Might Literature Help Law? * Literature as a Source of Background Knowledge for Law Arch of Triumph From Huxley to The Matrix * Improving Trial and Appellate Advocacy Sherlock Holmes to the Rescue? Legal Narratology Fictional Depictions of Lawyers The Funeral Orations in Julius Caesar * But Can Literature Humanize Law? Aesthetic versus Moralistic Literary Criticism Then Why Read Literature? Part IV. The Regulation of Literature * Protecting Nonwriters Pornographic Fiction Defamation by Fiction * Protecting (Other) Writers What Is an "Author"? Copyright, Plagiarism, and Creativity Parody * Conclusion. Law and Literature: A Manifesto * Index

Promotional Information

With his usual astonishing range of interests, Richard Posner treats facets of 'law and literature' ranging from popular culture to copyright to whether reading great literature necessarily contributes to one's moral growth (and more besides). Every reader will be provoked, challenged, and illuminated by Posner's insights and arguments. -- Sanford V. Levinson, author of Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) This complex, superbly argued book remains a remarkable achievement and is made even more useful in this new edition. Richard Posner knows how much legal thinking can profit from the study of literary traditions and classic works of fiction. He also is acutely aware of the limits on the application of literary practice to the law. The bracing manner in which he debunks the sentimental notion that literature and--worse--literary theory are law's salvation is a pleasure to read. -- Denis Dutton, Editor, Philosophy and Literature

About the Author

Richard A. Posner is Circuit Judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.


[Posner] has written and rewritten the most comprehensive study of the connections between law and literature. -- James Seaton Weekly Standard 20100719

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