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Literary Criticisms of Law - Guyora Binder

Literary Criticisms of Law

Paperback Published: 1st February 2000
ISBN: 9780691007243
Number Of Pages: 440

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In this book, the first to offer a comprehensive examination of the emerging study of law as literature, Guyora Binder and Robert Weisberg show that law is not only a scheme of social order, but also a process of creating meaning, and a crucial dimension of modern culture. They present lawyers as literary innovators, who creatively interpret legal authority, narrate disputed facts and hypothetical fictions, represent persons before the law, move audiences with artful rhetoric, and invent new legal forms and concepts. Binder and Weisberg explain the literary theories and methods increasingly applied to law, and they introduce and synthesize the work of over a hundred authors in the fields of law, literature, philosophy, and cultural studies.

Drawing on these disparate bodies of scholarship, Binder and Weisberg analyze law as interpretation, narration, rhetoric, language, and culture, placing each of these approaches within the history of literary and legal thought. They sort the styles of analysis most likely to sharpen critical understanding from those that risk self-indulgent sentimentalism or sterile skepticism, and they endorse a broadly synthetic cultural criticism that views law as an arena for composing and contesting identity, status, and character. Such a cultural criticism would evaluate law not simply as a device for realizing rights and interests but also as the framework for a vibrant cultural life.

Industry Reviews

Immensely learned, thorough, and sane. -- Anthony Julius The Times Literary Supplement

Prefacep. ix
Law as Literaturep. 3
From Letters to Literaturep. 7
Literary Canons and Academiesp. 13
The Risks and Possibilities of Law and Literaturep. 16
Genres of Criticismp. 20
Interpretive Crises in American Legal Thoughtp. 28
Introductionp. 28
The Crisis of Whig Hermeneuticsp. 31
Progressive Interpretationp. 56
The Crisis of Progressive Interpretationp. 87
Conclusionp. 109
Hermeneutic Criticism of Lawp. 112
Introductionp. 112
Literary Theories of Interpretationp. 114
Law as Literary Interpretationp. 154
Legal Hermeneutics in Practicep. 188
Conclusionp. 199
Narrative Criticism of Lawp. 201
Introduction: The Law as Narrative Tropep. 201
Literary Theories of Narrativep. 209
Instrumental Claims: Narrative as Law's Antagonist and Salvationp. 232
Law and Narrative as Mutually Inherentp. 261
Conclusion: Performing the Law and Narrating the Nationp. 287
Rhetorical Criticism of Lawp. 292
Introduction: Law, Rhetoric, and the Problem of Authoritarianismp. 292
A Very Brief History of Rhetoricp. 299
The Conservative Model o Rhetoricp. 309
Is a Liberal Rhetoric Possible?p. 330
Conclusionp. 376
Deconstructive Criticism of Lawp. 378
Introductionp. 378
Derridean Deconstructionp. 380
Deconstruction as Epistemological Criticismp. 408
Deconstruction as Ethical Criticismp. 440
Conclusionp. 460
Cultural Criticism of Lawp. 462
Introductionp. 462
Theoretical Sources for Cultural Criticism of Lawp. 464
Cultural Readings of Disputesp. 480
Cultural Readings of Capitalismp. 507
Conclusionp. 538
Indexp. 541
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691007243
ISBN-10: 0691007241
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 1st February 2000
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.77