Lawyers and Literature

| Spring | 2019 |


Monday. January 7. 2019
"Before the Law" | Thinking About Parables

A Note about the Class Assignments pages: Assigned readings are marked by the double purple bullets: Relevant, non-required, readings & web resources, are marked by a single purple bullet:

I have, in an effort to make Lawyers and Literature the most complete course possible, included Instructor's Notes (for many of the assignments), along with links or notations for Supplemental Readings that will appear at the end of the assigment and will be clearly marked Supplemental Reading.

For additional prefatory remarks about the course, see: Getting Started

Monday. January 7. 2019: "Before the Law" | Thinking about Parables

 Frank Kafka, "Before the Law," in Nahum N. Glatzer (ed.), The Complete Stories and Parables 3-4 (New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 1971)(Willa Muir & Edwin Muir trans.) [online text]

 Spence: Doors of Risk
[video, 2:57 mins.] Following remarks made by Gerry Spence, Anne Lamott's response to parable seems appropriate: "We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you'll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you've already been in. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer's job is to see what's behind it, to see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words--not just into any words but if we can into rhythm and blues." [Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 198 (New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1995)]

 Kafka, Fragments

 Kafka, "On Parables"

 "Walter Lacklustre" [a parable by John Bonsignore, a co-founder of the former Department of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst]

 Three Parables

 Parable of the Treasure: A Classic Hasidic Tale

 "The Blind Men and the Elephant" [John Godfrey Saxe] [A Reading of "The Blind Men and the Elephant"
by Tom O'Bedlam]

 A Final Exam Question

Instructor's Note

Writing: Week 1

Supplemental Reading

In Parables: Teaching Through Parables
John J. Bonsignore, 12 Legal Stud. F. 191 (1988)

Supplemental Audio

David Foster Wallace on Kafka
[9:28 mins.] [audio]

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