Friday, March 09, 2012

More Proof that Lawyers should not Practice "Law and Literarture"

Almost every time a judge offers a literary flourish he gets it wrong.  From today's Wall Street Journal:

"Picture a law written by James Joyce and edited by e.e. cummings," wrote Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in a January ruling in a Medicare case.
Link.  I assume the judge thinks he has said something erudite.  In fact I think he has proven that he didn't like English class very much.     Had he paid attention, he would have learned that (though there are plenty of impenetrable passages) the best parts of Joyce are at least as lucid as, say, the New Yorker (private message to the judge: go read "The Dead").    And the only difficult part of Cummings is trying to figure why he left out the capitals.  Anyway, these days Cummings is pretty much junior high school stuff and I doubt the preteens would get equal enjoyment out of the Medicare statutes.

H/T Wichita.   

2 comments:

New York Crank said...

a rush of wings or
is it limbaugberger cheese
(and so on)
the great heart beating
still i know i will not
still kiss your effing flag
(and so on)
whereas the party
of the first part is party
to a dispute between
the parties so a
party animal could not
believe the dooms of love
(and so on)
whereas and whereas and whereas
the center will not hold
its centrality
(and your etcetera)

Yours crankily,
(but i digress}

Anonymous said...

Oh great, Learned Hand the Cable Guy. What to make of the assumption that e.e. cummings would edit simply by taking out capital letters and sentence form from Joyce's writing. That's not how it works, boss. Beckett wouldn't have touched Joyce's prose as an editor, but he knew his own writing was going to be another thing entirely. And by the way, asshat, have you read Finnegan's Wake? "jewgreek is greekjew." OMG they're uncapitalized ALREADY-- your simile is collapsing and cooling into a neutron star of "I read four Shakespeares" Bush-swagger! Fittingly, his name-drop excretes the stultifying, self-satisfied mediocrity that cummings lit up at his best. He would not at all have been surprised at the inapt allusion.