Abstract

What is the role and representation of justice in modern literature? This is the question addressed in the essay, which examines work by David Mamet, William Faulkner, and William Styron, as well as Dostoevsky and Kafka, while considering issues of testimony, confession, and evidence. It argues that injustice, not justice, dominates the legal literary landscape and that language itself explains this emphasis plus the direct experiences of authors with the law. Additional topics include matters of suppression, publisher's rights, and law's control over the legitimizing power over narrative. Drawing from J. L. Austin, Richard Rorty, and Peter Brooks, the contested state of justice is shown to be repeatedly undermined by the challenges of genre as much as character.

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