Introduction and Coda to Re-Readings 2
Re-readings 2 (2017)
46 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last revised: 5 Sep 2017
Date Written: July 22, 2017
According to the Oxford English Dictionary — in an entry that “has not yet been fully updated (first published 1891)” — it is a musical term meaning, “A passage of more or less independent character introduced after the completion of the essential parts of a movement, so as to form a more definite and satisfactory conclusion.” Sometime between Victoria’s reign and today, the coda picked up a related definition. It is now one of a bunch of words and phrases — others include stinger, tag, credit cookie, post-credits scene, and monk’s reward — that mean, according to MediaStinger, “An extra scene, picture, or audio clip during and/or after the credits of a movie or video game.” Or, as TVTropes puts it, “It’s often used as a type of Easter Egg . . . .” Surely, though, there is such a thing as too many codas, too many Easter Eggs. Yes, they are fun in movie credits, exciting in videogame DLCs, inspiring in biography epilogues, and entertaining in short-story sequels. But what if someone pelted you with an Easter Egg after every scene in a movie or after every paragraph in a book? You can have that experience right now, today, in the talking footnotes in articles written by great legal scholars, edited by smart law students, and published in weighty law reviews housed at highly-ranked law schools (and in many other fine law journals as well). Could making law reviews more like movies make for more readable (and thus more useful) legal scholarship?
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