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Print version ISSN 1405-0218


KIRSTE, Stephan. Law and Literature in a Philosophical-Legal Perspective. Isonomía [online]. 2023, n.58, pp.149-196.  Epub Aug 11, 2023. ISSN 1405-0218.

Already Jakob Grimm knew that “Law and Literature rise from the same bed”. They are indeed closely connected and influence each other: law can be understood as a form of literature, when we analyze its texture, take it as a narration or consider the style of lawyers. We find many legal aspects in literature, most prominently in Kafka, but also in Thomas Bernhard, who considered “the whole world to be an enormous jurisprudence”. Furthermore, we cannot only speak of law in literature, but in a more practical way of literature in law, e.g. when courts decide about the fictional character of novels. Finally, literature may achieve a kind of justice law may not. This broader normative context of law and literature is covered by “poetic justice”. Law and literature then is an interdisciplinary project that analyzes the cultural embeddedness of law.

Keywords : cultural legal studies; law as literature; law in literature; literature in law; poetic justice.

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