Cover: The Wallace Stevens Case: Law and the Practice of Poetry, from Harvard University PressCover: The Wallace Stevens Case in E-DITION

The Wallace Stevens Case

Law and the Practice of Poetry

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E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674284029

Publication Date: 08/01/1991

155 pages

World

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Wallace Stevens was not only one of America’s outstanding modernist poets but also a successful insurance lawyer—a fact that continues to intrigue many readers. Though Stevens tried hard to separate his poetry from his profession, legal theorist Thomas Grey shows that he did not ultimately succeed. After stressing how little connection appears on the surface between the two parts of Stevens’s life, Grey argues that in its pragmatic account of human reasoning, the poetry distinctively illuminates the workings of the law.

In this important extension of the recent law-and-literature movement, Grey reveals Stevens as a philosophical poet and implicitly a pragmatist legal theorist, who illustrates how human thought proceeds through “assertion, qualification, and qualified reassertion,” and how reason and passion fuse together in the act of interpretation. Above all, Stevens’s poetry proves a liberating antidote to the binary logic that is characteristic of legal theory: one side of a case is right, the other wrong; conduct is either lawful or unlawful.

At the same time as he discovers in Stevens a pragmatist philosopher of law, Grey offers a strikingly new perspective on the poetry itself. In the poems that develop Stevens’s “reality–imagination complex”—poems often criticized as remote, apolitical, and hermetic—Grey finds a body of work that not only captivates the reader but also provides a unique instrument for scrutinizing the thought processes of lawyers and judges in their exercise of social power.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

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In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene