Literature and Law

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Michael Meyer
Rodopi, 2004 - Law and literature - 244 pages
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In recent years, there has been a continuing and persistent world-wide interest in the interaction between the two disciplines of law and literature. Although there have been many collections of primary texts that combined these two areas, this volume presents literary analyses and criticism in an attempt to assess the varied relationships between law and justice, between lawyers and clients, and between readers' perceptions and authors' intent, hopefully suggesting why they have continually been yoked together. One similarity between the two is that lawyers, like writers, must catch their audience's attention by novelty of scene, distinctiveness of voice, and ingenuity of design. Furthermore, legal advocates must recreate a concrete sense of reality, developing vivid and valid pictures of a specific time and place. In short, both lawyers and writers attempt to provide a basis for juries / readers to judge defendants / characters by their motivations and their actions and to decide whether a favorable ruling / assessment is justified. Collectively, the essays in this book are designed to deal with themes of guilt and innocence, right and wrong, morality and legality. The essays also suggest that the world as it is delineated by lawyers is indeed a text that like its literary counterparts sometimes blurs the distinction between fact and fiction as it attempts to define "truth" and to establish criteria for "impartial" justice. By exploring interdisciplinary contexts, readers will surely be made more aware, more sensitive to the roles that stories play in the legal profession and to the dilemmas faced by legal systems that often succeed in maintaining the rights and privileges of a dominant societal group at the expense of a less powerful one.

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The Silent Voices of the Law
Exploring the British Legal System
Prague Minorities and The Habsburg
Language Literature and
Edith Whartons Portrayal of Lawyers
Ritual Murder and the Corruption of Law in Bernard
Birth Control Rhetoric
The Relationship of Kafka to Leibniz
Mumia AbuJamals Live from Death Row as PostLegal Prison Writing
Joy Kogawas Obasan
The Sexual Contract
A Lawyer and His Daughter Read
About the Authors

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Page 235 - We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.
Page 57 - Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K. for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning.
Page 204 - From this equality of ability, ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end, which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only, endeavour to destroy, or subdue one another.
Page 151 - Der Reisende hätte gerne etwas Anerkennendes gesagt, aber er sah nur labyrinthartige, einander vielfach kreuzende Linien, die so dicht das Papier bedeckten, daß man nur mit Mühe die weißen Zwischenräume erkannte. »Lesen Sie«, sagte der Offizier. »Ich kann nicht«, sagte der Reisende. »Es ist doch deutlich«, sagte der Offizier. »Es ist sehr kunstvoll«, sagte der Reisende ausweichend, »aber ich kann es nicht entziffern.
Page 61 - K. now perceived clearly that he was supposed to seize the knife himself, as it traveled from hand to hand above him, and plunge it into his own breast. But he did not do so, he merely turned his head, which was still free to move, and gazed around him. He could not completely rise to the occasion, he could not relieve the officials of all their tasks...
Page 232 - In determining the question of reasonableness, it is at liberty to act with reference to the established usages, customs, and traditions of the people, and with a view to the promotion of their comfort, and the preservation of the public peace and good order.
Page 150 - Nein«, sagte der Offizier und wollte gleich in seinen Erklärungen fortfahren, aber der Reisende unterbrach ihn: »Er kennt sein eigenes Urteil nicht?« »Nein«, sagte der Offizier wieder, stockte dann einen Augenblick, als verlange er vom Reisenden eine nähere Begründung seiner Frage, und sagte dann: »Es wäre nutzlos, es ihm zu verkünden. Er erfährt es ja auf seinem Leib.
Page 61 - His glance fell on the top storey of the house adjoining the quarry. With a flicker as of a light going up, the casements of a window there suddenly flew open; a human figure, faint and insubstantial at that distance and that height, leaned abruptly far forward and stretched both arms still farther. Who was it? A friend? A good man? Someone who sympathized? Someone who wanted to help? Was it one person only? Or were they all there? Was help at hand?
Page 57 - Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning. His landlady's cook, who always brought him his breakfast at eight o'clock, failed to appear on this occasion. That had never happened before. K. waited for a little while longer, watching from his pillow the old lady opposite, who seemed to be peering at him with a curiosity unusual even for her, but then, feeling both put out and hungry, he rang the bell. At once there was a knock at the door and a man entered whom...

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