The Law and Literature approach has become one of the most promising ways to go about observing the legal phenomenon. I will not trace out the way this approach has developed, for which purpose there is an abundance of critical essays the reader can refer to, but I will point out that Law and Literature has a long history even in Europe (Sansone 2001) and is very much thriving here (Aristodemou 2000; Buescu-Trabuco-Ribeiro 2010; Gaakeer 2007; Gaakeer and Ost 2008; Garapon and Salas 2008; González 2008; Mittica 2009; Ost et al. 2001; Ost 2004; Pozzo 2010; Ward 1995, 2004; Williams 2005), as it is in other countries outside the United States (Melkevik 2010), most notably in Australia (Dolin 2007) and less notably in Latin America (Coaguila Valdivia 2009; Karam Trindade, Gubert, and Neto 2008a, 2008b; Lopes 2006; Schwartz and Trindade 2008). Also testifying to the growing interest in this interdisciplinary approach is the large following attracted by the Italian Society for Law and Literature (ISLL), established in June 2008 at the University of Bologna with the aim of promoting Law and Literature and, more broadly still, Law and the Humanities: an international network has been set up linking some of the most prominent organizations devoted to this approach; an online multilingual journal called ISLL Papers has since been founded, and also a library that extends its scope so as to also keep a close eye on the research being conducted in this field in different parts of the world and from different disciplinary perspectives. It is too early to have a proper assessment of this experience, to be sure, but at least one observation can be made from the outset as far as the society’s membership is concerned. There has gathered around ISLL a community of scholars coming from a variety of disciplines, bringing a perspective both internal to law and external to it. From an internal viewpoint we have the legal sciences and the different branches of positive law, and we concomitantly have a number of disciplines traditionally engaged in observing law from an external viewpoint, such as philosophy, history (ancient, medieval, and modern), and the sociology and anthropology of law. The area that ISLL has come to stretch over is, in this sense, spontaneously interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity, as is known, offers great opportunities for any scholarly enterprise, but at the same time it also increases more than anything else the risk of lapsing into improvisation and dilettantism. Our aim is to work out investigative models that can be shared among different disciplinary perspectives, in such a way as to find a common language and to proceed bringing to bear the expertise distinctive to each participant. This need is the order of the day on the agenda for this field of study, and the process, especially as Europe is concerned, has gotten off to a good start through the effort François Ost. While I do agree with Posner (2009) in criticizing interdisciplinarity as an idle pursuit when undertaken in a superficial way, I argue, contrary to Posner’s view, that through a process involving a theoretical exchange with methodological controls on the data to be analyzed, Law and the Humanities makes it possible to observe the law in a useful and rigorous way, and not just to recover law’s aesthetic dimension, with a view to providing an ethical vantage point on the law for those who will be dealing with legal questions. There are three objectives in particular I will be focusing on: (a) to present a model I have called normative narration (Mittica 2006), a model understood as the main engine driving the processes of normative construction, and developed by drawing on concepts and insights pertaining to different disciplines; (b) to frame a new way of looking at the distinction between law and literature; and (c) to come at a definition of law as narrative, as well as to see how other types of narrative produced within a culture can be considered normative.

Narration as a Normative Process

MITTICA, MARIA PAOLA
2010-01-01

Abstract

The Law and Literature approach has become one of the most promising ways to go about observing the legal phenomenon. I will not trace out the way this approach has developed, for which purpose there is an abundance of critical essays the reader can refer to, but I will point out that Law and Literature has a long history even in Europe (Sansone 2001) and is very much thriving here (Aristodemou 2000; Buescu-Trabuco-Ribeiro 2010; Gaakeer 2007; Gaakeer and Ost 2008; Garapon and Salas 2008; González 2008; Mittica 2009; Ost et al. 2001; Ost 2004; Pozzo 2010; Ward 1995, 2004; Williams 2005), as it is in other countries outside the United States (Melkevik 2010), most notably in Australia (Dolin 2007) and less notably in Latin America (Coaguila Valdivia 2009; Karam Trindade, Gubert, and Neto 2008a, 2008b; Lopes 2006; Schwartz and Trindade 2008). Also testifying to the growing interest in this interdisciplinary approach is the large following attracted by the Italian Society for Law and Literature (ISLL), established in June 2008 at the University of Bologna with the aim of promoting Law and Literature and, more broadly still, Law and the Humanities: an international network has been set up linking some of the most prominent organizations devoted to this approach; an online multilingual journal called ISLL Papers has since been founded, and also a library that extends its scope so as to also keep a close eye on the research being conducted in this field in different parts of the world and from different disciplinary perspectives. It is too early to have a proper assessment of this experience, to be sure, but at least one observation can be made from the outset as far as the society’s membership is concerned. There has gathered around ISLL a community of scholars coming from a variety of disciplines, bringing a perspective both internal to law and external to it. From an internal viewpoint we have the legal sciences and the different branches of positive law, and we concomitantly have a number of disciplines traditionally engaged in observing law from an external viewpoint, such as philosophy, history (ancient, medieval, and modern), and the sociology and anthropology of law. The area that ISLL has come to stretch over is, in this sense, spontaneously interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinarity, as is known, offers great opportunities for any scholarly enterprise, but at the same time it also increases more than anything else the risk of lapsing into improvisation and dilettantism. Our aim is to work out investigative models that can be shared among different disciplinary perspectives, in such a way as to find a common language and to proceed bringing to bear the expertise distinctive to each participant. This need is the order of the day on the agenda for this field of study, and the process, especially as Europe is concerned, has gotten off to a good start through the effort François Ost. While I do agree with Posner (2009) in criticizing interdisciplinarity as an idle pursuit when undertaken in a superficial way, I argue, contrary to Posner’s view, that through a process involving a theoretical exchange with methodological controls on the data to be analyzed, Law and the Humanities makes it possible to observe the law in a useful and rigorous way, and not just to recover law’s aesthetic dimension, with a view to providing an ethical vantage point on the law for those who will be dealing with legal questions. There are three objectives in particular I will be focusing on: (a) to present a model I have called normative narration (Mittica 2006), a model understood as the main engine driving the processes of normative construction, and developed by drawing on concepts and insights pertaining to different disciplines; (b) to frame a new way of looking at the distinction between law and literature; and (c) to come at a definition of law as narrative, as well as to see how other types of narrative produced within a culture can be considered normative.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2506901
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