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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Songs Without Music

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Desmond MandersonSenior Lecturer and Director, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, Australia

ISBN13: 9780520216884
ISBN: 0520216881
Published: September 2000
Publisher: University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton
Format: Hardback
Price: £43.95



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In this path-breaking and provocative analysis of the aesthetics of law, the historian, legal theorist, and musician Desmond Manderson argues that by treating a text, legal or otherwise, as if it were merely a sequence of logical propositions, readers miss its formal and symbolic meanings. Creatively using music as a model, he demonstrates that law is not a sterile, rational structure, but a cultural form to be valued and enhanced through rhetoric and metaphors, form, images, and symbols. To further develop this argument, the book is divided into chapters, each of which is based on a different musical form.;Law, for Manderson, should strive for neither coherence nor integrity. Rather, it is imperfectly realised, constantly reinterpreted, and always in flux. The book s written in an original, engaging, and often humorous style, and exhibits a deep knowledge o both law and music. It successfully traverses several disciplines and builds an original and persuasive argument for a legal aesthetic. The book should appeal to a broad readership in law, political theory, literary criticism, and cultural studies.

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