1st Edition

Memory, Imagination, Justice
Intersections of Law and Literature

ISBN 9781138266179
Published November 14, 2016 by Routledge
226 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Through the creative use of literary analysis, Memory, Imagination, Justice provides a critical and highly original discussion of contemporary topics in criminal law and bioethics. Author David Gurnham uses popular and classical texts, by authors including Shakespeare, Dickens, Euripides, Kafka, the Brothers Grimm, Huxley and Margaret Atwood to shed fresh light on such controversial legal and ethical issues as passionate homicide, life sentences, child pornography and genetic enhancement. Gurnham’s overarching theme is the role of memory and imagination in shaping legal and ethical attitudes. Along this line, this book examines the ways in which past wrongs are remembered and may be forcefully responded to, both by the criminal justice system itself and also by individuals responding to what they regard as gross insults, threats or personal violations. The volume further discusses the role of imagination as a creative force behind legal reform, in terms of the definition of criminal behaviour and the possible future development of the law. These ideas provide a useful and highly original perspective on contemporary issues of crime and society as they resonate both in legal and literary discussion.



Dr David Gurnham is a Reader in Law at the University of Southampton. He teaches and researches in the areas of Literary Jurisprudence, Criminal Law and Healthcare Law and Ethics.


'Too many legal scholars are dismissive of exploration beyond their own authors and authorities, but David Gurnham has made a thoughtful excursion into neighbouring texts and intellectual territories. His findings are sometimes controversial, always memorable. His book will hopefully encourage others to join in the search for justice by way of imagination."' Gary Watt, University of Warwick, UK and co-editor, Law and Humanities 'Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and Literature is a rewarding read. As well as taking a further step on the path of the open-ended relation between law and literature, the book also invites us to cast fresh eyes upon the moral controversies on which law is destined to have the last word.' Social and Legal Studies 'This focused and finely argued book is exemplary of a certain way of doing law and literature. Gurnham's text displays all the scholarly virtues of literary jurisprudence. ...Whilst Gurnham produces a compelling account of a kind of scholarship, the most disturbing and interesting parts of his text tend to point elsewhere: to what cannot be put into words.' International Journal for the Semiotics of Law '(A) truly innovative and outstanding piece of research. Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and Literature is a highly-recommended read. It has several merits in that it not only offers a useful wide-ranging reference point for academic and practising lawyers, philosophers and sociologists, it also provides a provocative and engaging addition to the existing body of literary jurisprudence.' Law and Humanities