LAW AND LITERATURE BY RICHARD A POSNER
Hailed in its first edition as an “outstanding work, as stimulating as it is intellectually distinguished” (New York Times), Law and Literature has handily lived up to the Washington Post’s prediction that the book would “remain essential reading for many years to come.” This third edition, extensively revised and enlarged, is the only comprehensive book-length treatment of the field. It continues to emphasize the essential differences between law and literature, which are rooted in the different social functions of legal and literary texts. But it also explores areas of mutual illumination and expands its range to include new topics such as the cruel and unusual punishments clause of the Constitution, illegal immigration, surveillance, global warming and bioterrorism, and plagiarism.
In this edition, literary works from classics by Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dostoevsky, Melville, Kafka, and Camus to contemporary fiction by Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, and Joyce Carol Oates come under Richard Posner’s scrutiny, as does the film The Matrix.
The book remains the most clear, acute account of the intersection of law and literature.
With his usual astonishing range of interests, Richard Posner treats facets of ‘law and literature’ ranging from popular culture to copyright to whether reading great literature necessarily contributes to one’s moral growth (and more besides). Every reader will be provoked, challenged, and illuminated by Posner’s insights and arguments. — Sanford V. Levinson, author of Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)
This complex, superbly argued book remains a remarkable achievement and is made even more useful in this new edition. Richard Posner knows how much legal thinking can profit from the study of literary traditions and classic works of fiction. He also is acutely aware of the limits on the application of literary practice to the law. The bracing manner in which he debunks the sentimental notion that literature and―worse―literary theory are law’s salvation is a pleasure to read. — Denis Dutton, Editor, Philosophy and Literature
[Posner] has written and rewritten the most comprehensive study of the connections between law and literature. — James Seaton ― Weekly Standard
About the Author
Richard A. Posner retired as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.