A Critical Introduction to Law and Literature - download pdf or read online

By Kieran Dolin

ISBN-10: 0521002028

ISBN-13: 9780521002028

Kieran Dolin introduces the interdisciplinary research of legislations and literature and charts the historical past of the transferring relatives among the 2 disciplines, from the open association among literature and legislations within the sixteenth-century resorts of courtroom to the fewer noticeable hyperlinks of latest tradition. each one bankruptcy is organised round a recognized trial or literary-legal come across. The broad resonance of such trials illuminates the cultural centrality of legislations, and the social responsiveness of literature. This ebook presents an available consultant to 1 of the main intriguing components of interdisciplinary scholarship this day.

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Some of the concepts discussed above can be illustrated in relation to these two judgments, the ‘stock story’ underlying defences to crimes of violence. The Duffy case of 1949 is published in the law reports for doctrinal purposes only; as a ‘classic direction’ to a jury on the law of provocation. It represents the traditional common-law approach to this question. Only a minimal narrative of the circumstances, replacing the names of those involved with their legal roles, is given. It states that the appellant ‘had been subjected to brutal treatment by’ her husband, had wanted to leave but been prevented, had gone and changed her clothes and, when the husband was asleep, had killed him using a hatchet and hammer.

I refer here not to religion or the content of the law, but to its patriarchal transmission, as God’s word, mediated by Moses, is quoted by Devlin, and approved by Goddard and two other appellate judges, as Law. This text, then, is a good example of what Bakhtin called ‘the authoritative word’: ‘The authoritative word is located in a distanced zone, organically connected with a past that is felt to be hierarchically higher. It is, so to speak, the word of the fathers . . It is a prior discourse.

10 An exemplary case is that of the famous judge, Sir Edward Coke, who ‘had in his library Aristotle’s and Quintilian’s rhetorics, several grammars and books of logic . . 11 However, the new technology of printed books was transforming the culture of the word, lessening the role of memory and orality, and thereby changing the orientation of rhetoric. 12 This new interest is clearly signalled in the published ‘Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres’ of such eighteenth-century writers as Hugh Blair and Adam Smith.

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A Critical Introduction to Law and Literature by Kieran Dolin


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