September 15, 2014

A Reading of Kafka's "The Trial"

Robert P. Burns, Northwestern University School of Law, has published Preface for: Kafka's Law: 'The Trial' and American Criminal Justice (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Here is the abstract.
Justice Kennedy famously claimed that Kafka's great work, "The Trial," expressed the reality of the American criminal justice system, at least from the defendant's point of view. This essay, the first sections a book just released by the University of Chicago Press, first summarizes the book's argument that the Justice got it just right, and then provides a close reading of "The Trial." This reading agrees with Hannah Arendt's view that the novel is centrally about institutional issues of justice and that it provides an "organizational gothic" vision of contemporary bureaucratic governance in criminal procedure.
Download the text from SSRN at the link. 

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