Practice Extended: Beyond Law and Literature

Hardcover | March 1, 2016

byRobert A. Ferguson

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Written by a renowned literary critic and legal historian, Practice Extended illuminates the intricacies of legal language and thought and the law's relationship to society, literature, and culture. Robert A. Ferguson details how judicial opinions are written, how legal thought and philosophy inform ideas, and how best to appreciate a courtroom novel. With chapters touching on a wide range of subjects, including immigration, eloquence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Supreme Court case over James Joyce's Ulysses, Practice Extended provides an ambitious argument for the importance of language in law and a much-needed analysis of the often vexed relationship between law and literature.

Ferguson challenges the notion of law as a hermetic enterprise only accessible to experts. He reveals the discipline's relationships to history, religion, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and the visual arts, offering a rich account of how the law has shaped and has been shaped by communal thought. He also recognizes the critical role of literature and other outside views in showcasing the social problems that law takes up. Practice Extended reflects Ferguson's crucial role as a pioneer in developing the field of law and literature. His writing reminds us of the need for a critical approach to the law that draws on the insights of literature to better understand political and legal history and the documents, laws, and arguments that shape our present. At the same time, this volume also showcases the ways in which the law has been integrated into works of literature, from Billy Budd to contemporary courtroom thrillers.

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Written by a renowned literary critic and legal historian, Practice Extended illuminates the intricacies of legal language and thought and the law's relationship to society, literature, and culture. Robert A. Ferguson details how judicial opinions are written, how legal thought and philosophy inform ideas, and how best to appreciate a...

Robert A. Ferguson is the George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature, and Criticism at Columbia University. He works in the nexus of law, literature, and history in American culture, and his most recent books are Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment; Alone in America: The Stories That Matter; and The Trial in American ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231175361

ISBN - 13:9780231175364

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: The Letters in LawPart I. Literary Components in the Legal Imagination1. The U.S. Constitution as Literature2. The Place of Mercy in Legal Discourse3. Immigration Law: An Answer to IntractabilityPart II. The Nature of Judgment4. Holmes and the Judicial Figure5. The Opinion as Literary Genre6. Ulysses in Government HandsPart III. The Public Uses of Eloquence7. Lawyer Lincoln: The Making of Eloquence8. Memorialization and the Spirit of Law9. Precision in PersuasionPart IV. When Law Fails10. The Somers Mutiny and the American Ship of State11. Invading Panama: Circumstance and the Rule of LawCoda: How to Read a Courtroom NovelNotesCases CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

Without fanfare, Ferguson's writings remind us why he is one of the lions of the field of law and literature, and why the field reaches-or should reach-beyond the precincts of the two disciplines. As ever, Ferguson leads by example and shows us what it can mean to be a public intellectual: He tells us where he stands and has stood, and why.