Monday, August 10, 2009
Smith, Stephen: "The Poetry of Persuasion: Early Literary Theory and Its Advice to Legal Writers."
Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors 6 (2009). Abstract: This article will address the possibility and necessity of aesthetic pleasure as a part of persuasive endeavors. It will do so through a review of early literary theorists’ statements about what poetry does artistically, and how it does it. It will seek insight from these theorists by extracting from their writings those precepts that seem most useful to the legal writer. This is a selective and non-comprehensive review of the work of a variety of early theorists. It would be impossible to extract from each writer every “helpful hint” he might provide. Moreover, in assembling a variety of suggestions and commands from writers over the centuries, this article does not presume to be mining new concepts in writing practice. The ideas are not necessarily unfamiliar ones, but come from early, perhaps original sources.The article also attempts to go from these past exhortations to some sort of present-day pertinence. How can the advice be employed in a legal writer’s practice? While the aphorisms of early theorists are invaluable, situating them in practical context may be helpful. Download the paper here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1434737.