When Words Lose Their Meaning

When Words Lose Their Meaning

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Through fresh readings of texts ranging from Homer's Iliad, Swift's Tale of a Tub, and Austen's Emma through the United States Constitution and McCulloch v. Maryland, James Boyd White examines the relationship between an individual mind and its language and culture as well as the qtextual communityq established between writer and audience. These striking textual analyses develop a rhetorica€”a qway of readingq that can be brought to any text but that, in broader terms, becomes a way of learning that can shape the reader's life. qIn this ambitious and demanding work of literary criticism, James Boyd White seeks to communicate 'a sense of reading in a new and different way.' . . . [White's] marriage of lawyerly acumen and classically trained literary sensibilitya€”equally evident in his earlier work, The Legal Imaginationa€”gives the best parts of When Words Lose Their Meaning a gravity and moral earnestness rare in the pages of contemporary literary criticism.qa€”Roger Kimball, American Scholar qJames Boyd White makes a state-of-the-art attempt to enrich legal theory with the insights of modern literary theory. Of its kind, it is a singular and standout achievement. . . . [White's] selections span the whole range of legal, literary, and political offerings, and his writing evidences a sustained and intimate experience with these texts. Writing with natural elegance, White manages to be insightful and inciteful. Throughout, his timely book is energized by an urgent love of literature and law and their liberating potential. His passion and sincerity are palpable.qa€”Allan C. Hutchinson, Yale Law Journal qUndeniably a unique and significant work. . . . When Words Lose Their Meaning is a rewarding book by a distinguished legal scholar. It is a showcase for the most interesting sort of inter-disciplinary work: the kind that brings together from traditionally separate fields not so much information as ideas and approaches.qa€”R. B. Kershner, Jr., Georgia Review14] If the readercompares this set of statements with the concluding statements quotedearlier, he may notice, even the first ... The statements withwhich the essays end aredrawnfrom much the samediscourse, but they are clarified and solidifiedanbsp;...

Title:When Words Lose Their Meaning
Author:James Boyd White
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 1984


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