Cross-roads? Some remarks on the future of Law and Literature

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Abstract

In this article I continue my exploration of the relevance of the humanities for the notion of practical wisdom, phronèsis, in legal theory and legal practice. In doing so I aim to return to James Boyd White’s metaphor for law, justice as translation, central to which is the acknowledgement of, on the one hand, the necessity of a process of mediation between languages and between people, and, on the other hand, the impossibility of total correspondence. The idea of translation is also interesting from a methodological point of view with respect to interdisciplinary ventures such as Law and Literature, especially given its movement in the direction of the broader field of Law and Humanities and/or Law and Culture. If law is like language in the definition of W.G. Sebald’s protagonist Jacques Austerlitz and ‘…may be regarded as an old city full of streets and squares, nooks and crannies, with some quarters dating from far back in time while others have been torn down, cleaned up and rebuilt, and with suburbs reaching further and further into the surrounding country’, what then are the cross-roads, the possibilities for the new directions that Law and Literature may take if we start from a distinctly European perspective with its particular local legal and literary narratives?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-31
Number of pages25
JournalPolemos, Journal of Law, Literature and Culture
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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