Law and Literature

María José Falcón y Tella invites us on a fascinating journey through the world of law and literature, travelling through the different eras and exploring eternal and as such current issues such as justice, power, resistance, vengeance, rights, and duties. This is an unending conversation, which brings us back to Sophocles and Dickens, Cervantes and Kafka, Dostoyevsky and Melville, among many others.
There are many ways to approach the concept of “Law and Literature”. In the classical manner, the author distinguishes three paths: the Law of Literature, involving a technical approach to the literary theme; Law as Literature, a hermeneutical and rhetorical approach to examining legal texts; and finally, Law in Literature, which is undoubtedly the most fertile and documented perspective (the fundamental part of the work focusses on this direction). This timely volume offers an introduction to this enormous field of study, which was born in the United States over a century ago and is currently taking root in the European continent.
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Biographical Note

María José Falcón y Tella is Professor of Legal Philosophy (1991) of the Complutense University of Madrid. She is the author of 28 books, many of them translated into different languages, such as Civil Disobedience (2004), Punishment and Culture (2006), Equity and Law (2008), A Three-Dimensional Theory of Law (2010), Jurisprudence in Roman, Anglosaxon and Continental Law (2011) and Justice and Law (2014), all of them published with Brill/Nijhoff. She was awarded the National Prize of Studies in Law in 1987.

Table of contents

Excerpt of Table of Contents
Chapter I Introduction;
Chapter II The Law “of” Literature;
1 Matters of private law: author’s rights and intellectual property. Copyright;
2 Matters of criminal law;
2.1 The (im)morality of literature. Censorship. Pornography; 2.2 Variety of press offences;
3. Matters of constitutional law: freedom of expression;
Chapter III Law “as” Literature;
1 Introduction;
2 Similarities between law and literature;
3 Differences between law and literature;
Chapter IV Literature “in” Law;
Chapter V Law “in” Literature;
1 Classical Antiquity;
1.1 Ancient Greece; 1.2 The Bible;
2 The Middle Ages;
2.1 The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321); 2.2 The Book of Good Love by Juan Vito, Arcipreste de Hita (1284-1351);
3 The Modern Age;
3.1 Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Etienne de la Boetie (1530-1563); 3.2 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616); 3.3 Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593); 3.4 William Shakespeare (1564-1616); 3.5 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1660-1731);
4 The Contemporary Era 131
4.1 Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832); 4.2 Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811; 4.3 The Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac (1799-1850); 4.4 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alejandro Dumas (1802-1870); 4.5 Charles Dickens (1812-1870); 4.6 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1818-1848); 4.7 Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862); 4.8 Billy Budd by Herman Melville (1819-1891); 4.9 Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881); 4.10 Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898); 4.11 The novels of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894); 4.12 The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil (1880-1942); 4.13 The Trial by Franz Kafka (1883-1924); 4.14 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1894-1963); 4.15 George Orwell (1903-1950); 4.16 Albert Camus (1913-1960); 4.17 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1917-1993); 4.18 The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008); 4.19 The works of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986); 4.20 Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014); 4.21 The Firm by John Grisham (1955-);


All interested in Literature and Law, especially from the perspective of “Law ‘in’ Literature”.

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