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March 08 , 2010

Memory, Imagination, Justice

Intersections of Law and Literature


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.

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