Thursday, December 18, 2008

I've been reading through a few things from SSRN and elsewhere: on H.L.A. Hart, the Hart-Dworkin debate, positivism, on and by G. A. Cohen. Most of it is baroque academicism preoccupied with the internal logic of its assumptions: perversity without its acknowledgment. A novel is no good if its not written in a compelling way, while academic philosophy is supposed to be about something strictly other than the language it employs. Unfortunately it often ends up about nothing else, manifesting not the narcissism of the navel-gazer, of someone always looking in the mirror but of someone who refuses to.

From Yale Law Journal: Kenji Yoshino, The City and the Poet.
On a whim, using the search function for the PDF I looked for the words Bible, Torah, Talmud and Midrash. No references. Then more seriously I searched for interpretation. It appears once, in a footnote.
Literature isn't the thing you write, it's the thing you read. "What comes down to us as literary fiction is the art not of naming but of architecture and description. What is written as literary fiction is often little more than mannerism and affect." [see below] Privileging (as jargon would have it) author over readership, individual over community, history and the study of history, brings us to the scholarship of individualism, individual "expression" and creative writing. Historians, like critics and judges, are observers and readers first. The same is true of good writers, but not bad ones.
more later.

Plato was a prose stylist who wrote dialogues involving a character, an orator and rhetorician named Socrates. And the problem with victim-impact statements is that the opposing parties in a criminal court are not the accused and plaintiff but the accused and the state.

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