Literature and Jurisdiction

Bradin Cormack

in A Power to Do Justice

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780226116242
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116259 | DOI:
Literature and Jurisdiction

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This book shows how deeply engaged early modern literature was with the technical production of the legal order and defines the ways in which jurisdictional topics provoked a metacritical perspective on the management of both legal meaning and literary meaning. For an initial survey of the scope of this primary relationship between jurisdiction and its literary-fictional analysis, and as an example of the book's approach to the literary excavation and interrogation of legal form, this chapter turns to a particular case, a poem written by Sir Thomas Wyatt to his friend John Poyntz. The poem shows the implications of jurisdiction for our understanding of both the temporal logic of legal ideology and the early constitution of the state, and for our very account of the literary and historical object. It engages and represents the law by burrowing into forms and categories, such as territoriality, to reflect outwardly an intensified version of the work that, less audibly, such categories do at law.

Keywords: early modern literature; legal order; jurisdiction; legal form; poem; law; Thomas Wyatt; John Poyntz; legal ideology; territoriality

Chapter.  15593 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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