This paper aims to give a concise review of contemporary Hungarian researches carried out in the field of “law and literature”. It evokes the preliminaries form previous century’s in Hungarian legal philosophy, and it discusses the recent achievements by taking a closer look on the results of three subsequent symposia organized in 2006, 2008 and the previous year. In conclusion, the paper outlines the possible directions for further development of certain aspects of legal education and the critical potential of “law and literature” studies.
Anglo-American and French, as well as German, Spanish and Hungarian variations to “Law and Literature” are surveyed for that as to the nature of the discipline some conclusions can be formulated. Accordingly, “Law and Literature” recalls that which is infinite in fallibility and which is not transparent in its simplicity, that is, the situation confronted that we may not avoid deciding about despite the fact that we may not get to a final understanding. What is said thereby is that “Law and Literature” is just a life-substitute. Like an artificial ersatz, it helps one to see out from what he/she cannot surpass. What it is all about is perhaps not simply bridging the gap between the law’s proposition and the case of law, with unavoidable tensions confronting the general and the individual, as well as the abstract and the concrete. Instead, it is more about live meditation, professional methodicalness stepped back in order to gain further perspectives and renewed reflection from a distance, so that the underlying reason for the legal (and especially judicial) profession can be recurrently rethought. In a fictional form, literature is the symbol and synonym of reflected life, a field where genuine human fates can be represented. Thereby, at the same time it is a substitute for theology, rooted in earthly existence as a supply to foster feeling kinds of, or substitutes to, transcendence.
Politics and literature traditionally developed in a close contact with each other in Hungary. This paper argues that this intimacy had a particular reason: the fact that Latin educational ideals determined the way youth were brought up well into the 20th century. This had an impact on the way politics was understood here, including the fact that parliamentary debates were carried out in Latin well into the early 19th century.And this had a further consequence as well: literature was not viewed simply as an autonomous field of activity, aiming only at aesthetic merits, but as a way to reflect on the fate of the nation. Lawyers had a professional training in rhetoric and therefore they had a familiarity with classical literature, which led many of them towards their own creative writing. And professional writers, too, had no other education than that of the Latin Christian-Humanist model, which made them representatives of the nation, as well as followers of earlier, classical patterns of writing. These features played a major role in the formation of the two heroes of the paper, the poets Dániel Berzsenyi and Ferenc Kölcsey, who had an internal conflict between each other, but who both embodied the type of late humanist political writers, so characteristic of the reform era of this region of Central Europe.
This essay discusses Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago from the aspect of “law and literature”. As a starting point, it argues that its “legal” reading is of a high relevance, since it helps us to better understand both the reality of Soviet law and the achievements of our legal systems. In order to illustrate this, it examines various legal layers embedded in the work: legal history, sociology of the punishment, criminal investigation, organizational sociology and psychology, and legal theory. In addition, the essay also focuses on the role of Western Law as a contrast in Solzhenitsyn’s work, and analyzes its metaphorical language about law. To conclude, it argues that this book could caution lawyers of the consequences of a politically-oriented approach to law that disregards the fundamental values of Western law.
Most of the contemporary scholarships of both literature and law categorize the coincidences and overlaps between an author’s literary work and his or her legal career, a given literary period and the same historical era of law and jurisprudence or between innumerable pieces of literature and the texts of the law merely as things of no real interest, curious facts that are not worthy of detailed academic analysis. While a point of view of this kind has its reasons the aim of the following paper is to change this attitude to a certain extent. In my opinion instead of talking about the “death of law and literature” we should consider the possibilites of (re)opening new ways of research for law and literature studies that may provide mutual benefits to both the representatives of legal and literary sciences. Hereinafter I will try to show why and how exploring the intertextual connections between the texts of law and those of literature seems to me the most fruitful endeavour to connect law and literature to each other.
This essay aims to explore the political and legal philosophical layers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece. First, it demonstrates the ambivalent feature of power and authority appearing in The Lord of the Rings. The second part gives a reading of Tolkien’s philosophical anthropology. Next, it is shown how Tolkien’s concept of law can be placed in the framework of a Lockean political theory. Finally, the paper discusses the educational potential of this literary work in the process of moral and legal socialization of the “lawyers-to-be”.
A klasszikus kori irodalmi latin nyelv és a római jogtudósok által kidolgozott jogi latin nyelv közti kölcsönhatás az irodalom és római jog határán elhelyezkedő, kevéssé kutatott terület, amely számos megválaszolatlan kérdést rejt magában. A jogi szakkifejezések felbukkanása a klasszikus kori irodalmi nyelvben a joghoz nem értők számára különös jelenségnek számított, amely a szélesebb olvasóközönség érdeklődését éppen homályossága és gyakori kétes értelmezhetősége révén keltette fel. Tanulmányomban a Petronius Satyriconjának XII–XV. caputjában szereplő jogi szakkifejezéseket vizsgálom a jogi tényállás tisztázásán keresztül, választ keresve azok tényleges funkciójára. A forumon játszódó jelenet elemzése során a római jog precizitása és a petroniusi humor közti ellentét feloldásának kulcsát az írói szándék feltárása jelenti, amely a jogi latin nyelvet sajátos módon illeszti művébe.