Running Backs, Wolves, and Other Fatalities: How Manipulations of Coherence in Legal Opinions Marginalize Violent Death

Law and Literature, Vol. 16, pp. 127-159, 2004

47 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2001 Last revised: 27 Nov 2014

See all articles by Jonathan Yovel

Jonathan Yovel

NYU School of Law - Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice; University of Haifa - Faculty of Law; Yale Law School

Abstract

Unlike what traditional scholarship teaches, narrative coherence is neither a unified nor, indeed, a coherent concept. In particular, it is not and cannot be a condition for narrative or argumentative validity. The reason is that coherence in fact breaks down to several different -- and competing -- performances and effects, relating differently to different audiences and cluing into different linguistic ideologies. This articles offers an analytical framework for the deconstruction of narrative coherence and its critique as a specific form of manipulation in judicial decisions and other forms of legal textuality.

Keywords: Rhetoric, narrative, narration, coherence, decision-making, interpretation, reader-response

Suggested Citation

Yovel, Jonathan, Running Backs, Wolves, and Other Fatalities: How Manipulations of Coherence in Legal Opinions Marginalize Violent Death. Law and Literature, Vol. 16, pp. 127-159, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=281693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.281693

Jonathan Yovel (Contact Author)

NYU School of Law - Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice ( email )

New York
United States

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203.435.5911 (Phone)

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