By Kieran Dolin
Kieran Dolin introduces the interdisciplinary learn of legislation and literature and charts the heritage of the transferring relatives among the 2 disciplines, from the open association among literature and legislation within the sixteenth-century lodges of courtroom to the fewer obvious hyperlinks of up to date tradition. every one bankruptcy is organised round a well-known trial or literary-legal stumble upon. The extensive resonance of such trials illuminates the cultural centrality of legislations, and the social responsiveness of literature. This ebook offers an available advisor to at least one of the main interesting components of interdisciplinary scholarship this present day.
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Extra info for A Critical Introduction to Law and Literature
44 Barthes analyses the language of the judge and prosecutor, their deportment, the architecture of the courtroom and the placement of the accused Dominici in this theatre of justice. Barthes’s essay is quoted in a more recent semiotic analysis of the law report of an English criminal appeal. 45 With this kind of investigation into the ideological work of legal signs, semiotics remains a powerful resource for the critical understanding of how legal meanings are generated. NARRATIVE JURISPRUDENCE Narrative, or storytelling, forms one of the intersections of law and literature.
Of the nature of violence: a stranger is accosted in a public place, such as a bar or street, and if possible, retreats, but if retreat is impossible, he justifiably defends himself. The intricate rules in criminal law governing the justified use of force to defend oneself are tailored to this story. They do not fit well – or at all – violent encounters that depart from it . . 58 West argues that the legal rules would be very different if they had been developed around a narrative of domestic violence, rather than that of a bar-room assault.
As a considered essay on a vital question of law in a postcolonial society, it fails to offer a just representation of the issues. The way forward for this approach to ‘law as literature’ is to address this critique, to acknowledge that canons of great writing are critical constructs which serve the cultural interests of their proponents, to be open to the range of voices and stories encountered in the context of the law, and especially to the voices and stories of the other. On this basis, a new ‘legal aesthetics’ is being formed, in which the literary realm is not valued for conserving cultural tradition, but for its capacity to imagine alternatives.
A Critical Introduction to Law and Literature by Kieran Dolin