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Author Litowitz, Douglas E., author.

Title Kafka's indictment of modern law / Douglas E. Litowitz.

Publication Info. Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2017]


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  833.912 K119Dl 2017    ---  Available
Description 196 pages ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-185) and index.
Contents Introduction: An Outline of the Project -- Part I. Exegesis: 1. Kafka's Life in the Law ; 2. Isolating the Relevant Texts ; 3. Narrative Summaries ; 4. Kafka's Target- Modern Law -- Part II. Interpretation:- 5. Modern Law Has Come Unmoored from Its Normative Grounding ; 6. Modern Law is Inherently Dystopian ; 7. Modern Law Inverts Punishment So That It Predates the Crime ; 8. Modern Law Fails to Accept the Ambiguity of Texts ; 9. Modern law Is Comic and Carnivalesque -- Conclusion: Was Kafka Correct about Modern Law?
Summary "The legal system is often denounced as "Kafkaesque"--But what does this really mean? This is the question Douglas E. Litowitz tackles in his critical reading of Franz Kafka's writings about the law. Going far beyond Kafka's most familiar works--such as The Trial--Litowitz assembles a broad array of works that he refers to as "Kafka's legal fiction"--consisting of published and unpublished works that deal squarely with the law, as well as those that touch upon it indirectly, as in political, administrative, and quasi-judicial procedures. Cataloguing, explaining, and critiquing this body of work, Litowitz brings to bear all those aspects of Kafka's life that were connected to law--his legal education, his career as a lawyer, his drawings, and his personal interactions with the legal system. A close study of Kafka's legal writings reveals that Kafka held a consistent position about modern legal systems, characterized by a crippling nihilism. Modern legal systems, in Kafka's view, consistently fail to make good on their stated pretensions--in fact often accomplish the opposite of what they promise. This indictment, as Litowitz demonstrates, is not confined to the legal system of Kafka's day, but applies just as surely to our own. A short, clear, comprehensive introduction to Kafka's legal writings and thought, Kafka's Indictment of Modern Law is not uncritical. Even as he clarifies Kafka's experience of and ideas about the law, Litowitz offers an informed perspective on the limitations of these views. His book affords rare insight into a key aspect of Kafka's work, and into the connection between the writing, the writer, and the legal world."-- Provided by publisher.
"The first half of this book is expository. The second half is interpretive. The first half attempts to identify, categorize, and summarize all of Kafka's fiction about law and legal systems. This includes all of his published and unpublished works that deal squarely with the law as a central motif, as well those stories that might be described as "law-related" for dealing with subjects that indirectly touch on law, such as his fiction on political, administrative, and quasi-judicial procedures. The second, interpretive part of the book sets forth my position that Kafka's legal fiction contains a single overriding theme: modern legal systems cannot make good on their stated pretensions, and worse, they often embody the opposite of their promises. Kafka says that modern people are put in an impossible situation, where they expect and demand their full rights under the law, only to discover that the promise is illusory and the law is empty"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924 -- Knowledge -- Law.
Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924. (OCoLC)fst00073986
Law in literature.
LAW -- Criminal Law -- General.
LAW -- Legal History.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Political Freedom & Security -- Human Rights.
Law. (OCoLC)fst00993678
Law in literature. (OCoLC)fst00994014
ISBN 9780700624737 (hardcover)
0700624732 (hardcover)
9780700624744 (electronic book)
0700624740 (electronic book)
Standard No. 40027410140

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