Crime and literature

Research projects



Two ways of understanding human behavior:

1) The nature of Literature

– The nature of literature is to open the possibilities of understanding human problems (Bakhtin and the arts);

– Literature is free and creative in choosing the point of view of analysis and, therefore, is close to the immediately felt;

– Literature has objective-subjective criteria for interpretation and validity of its proposals to be universal and reach all readers;

– Literature seeks to deconstruct by nature, even if it is not critical, and therefore tends to be naively radical.

2) The nature of criminal law

– Reduction of legal complexity by concentrating on the major problems of life and human existence;

– Objective and impartial criteria;

– Need for social acceptability to fulfill their functions.

3) Why is  literature relevant for criminal law?

a) Comparison and differentiation:

– Example: guilt explains or even causes the crime and not the opposite;

– Broadening of perspectives (new perspectives on motives, emotions, the meaning of behavior (e.g.: Dostoievsky – Crime and Punishment: Raskolnikov does not see his behavior as a crime, but as an affirmation of his existence, of his power)

b) Interference in the modeling of legal criteria

Example: In Gran Torino, a film by Clint Eastwood, the protagonist pretends to shoot so that they can shoot him and get caught.

Do the legal criteria define the situation as self-defense well or does self-defense have to be designed in a more complex way, considering the social context?

c) Valuation modeling

Example: Caucasian Chalk Circle

Brecht shows that children belong to those who love them – new values – relativizing biological ties

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