Title: The Mirror of Justice: Literary Reflections of Legal Crises
Princeton University Press
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This text studies major works of literature from classical antiquity to the present that reflect crises in the evolution of Western law: the move from a prelegal to a legal society in "The Eumenides"; the Christianization of Germanic law in "Njal's Saga"; the disenchantment with medieval customary law in "Reynard The Fox"; the reception of Roman law in a variety of Renaissance texts; the conflict between law and equity in "Antigone" and "The Merchant of Venice"; the 18th-century codification controversy in the works of Kleist; the modern debate between "pure" and "free" law in Kafka's "The Trial" and other fin-de-siecle works; and the effects of totalitarianism, the theory of universal guilt and anarchism in the 20th century. Using principles from the anthropological theory of legal evolution, the book locates the works in their legal contexts and traces them through the gradual dissociation over the centuries of law and morality. It thereby associates and illuminates these masterpieces from an original point of view.
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