The essays collected here under the governing signs, Law, Text, Terror have their origins in a singular and topical desire. Their motive is most immediately that of acknowledging the massive and eccentric contribution of the philologist, psychoanalyst and Romanist jurist Pierre Legendre to the study of legal institutions and juridical practices. He has unceasingly asked the question 'why law?' and in endeavouring to answer that question, in the course of over twenty-five books published during the last forty years, he has traversed a unique and uniquely idiosyncratic body of disciplines and knowledges relevant to the symbolic forms and institutional functions of the Western legal order.
These essays reflect that singularity of drive as well as that diversity of scholarly interests by taking up, playing with, varying and developing the themes of text and terror, law and territory, that Legendre either introduced or made peculiarly his own.