Law and Literature: Third Edition by Richard A. Posner

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By Richard A. Posner

Hailed in its first version as an “outstanding paintings, as stimulating because it is intellectually exceptional” (New York Times), legislations and Literature has handily lived as much as the Washington Post’s prediction that the booklet could “remain crucial interpreting for a few years to come.” This 3rd variation, widely revised and enlarged, is the single entire book-length remedy of the sphere. It maintains to stress the basic variations among legislation and literature, that are rooted within the varied social services of felony and literary texts. however it additionally explores parts of mutual illumination and expands its variety to incorporate new subject matters akin to the tough and strange punishments clause of the structure, unlawful immigration, surveillance, international warming and bioterrorism, and plagiarism. during this variation, literary works from classics by way of Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dostoevsky, Melville, Kafka, and Camus to modern fiction by means of Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, and Joyce Carol Oates come less than Richard Posner’s scrutiny, as does the movie The Matrix. The booklet continues to be the main transparent, acute account of the intersection of legislations and literature.

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Extra resources for Law and Literature: Third Edition

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24 Universality should not be confused with abstraction. Most great literature is highly textured, richly particular, and even (an implication of the test of time) exotic—the product of a different cultural era. The world of Homer, for example, is presented to the reader in great detail; and it is emphatically not our world. Ancient literature is rich in anthropological and historical interest, but that is different from literary interest. The great author makes us at home in his fictive world; that is his universality.

Wimsatt eds. 1977); David Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste,” in Hume, Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary 226, 231–233 (Eugene F. Miller ed. 1985); Anthony Savile, The Test of Time: An Essay in Philosophical Aesthetics (1982). See also Tyler Cowen, What Price Fame? ch. 4 (2000). Reflections of Law in Literature l 23 hearts, accept only the verdict of time. Except by radical critics, the greatness of Homer or Dante or Shakespeare is no ­longer questioned.  S. Eliot’s on Hamlet (“most certainly an artistic failure”)5 are curiosities that do not invite emulation.

Women were permitted to act on the Restoration stage, as they had not been in Shakespeare’s time. 11 9. ” Id. at ix. 10. David Parker, Ethics, Theory and the Novel 21–22 (1994). 11. Gary Taylor, Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History, from the Restoration to the Present 18–19 (1989). 13 So one expects many inflated reputations. But is Shakespeare’s one of them? The opinion of the vast majority of informed readers and audiences over several centuries and across different cultures, an opinion defended by rational arguments albeit not conclusive ones, provides some basis for a con­fi­dent, though not an infallible, denial.

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