Rescue the language

“- (..) What do you think the law is, that’s all it is, language.
- Legal language, I mean who can understand legal language but another lawyer, it’s like a, I mean it’s all a conspiracy, think about it Harry. It’s a conspiracy.
- Of course it is, I don’t have to think about it. Every profession is a conspiracy against the public, every profession protects itself with a language of its own, look at that psychiatrist they’re sending me to, ever try to read a balance sheet? Those plumes of the giant bird like the dog cornering his prey till it all evaporates into language confronted by language turning language itself into theory till it’s not about what it’s about it’s only about itself turned into a mere plaything the Judge say it right there in this new opinion, same swarm of flies he’s stepping on down there right now with their motion to throw out the jury’s verdict if they’ve got any sense.
- He can’t do that can he?
- Wait and see.
- But how can he. I thought that this was in the Constitution, a jury of your peers?
- A story you hear in first year law school, same argument Oscar’s grandfather got into with Holmes and here’s his son, here’s old Judge Crease down there following Holmes down the line. Justice Learned Hand exhorting Holmes ‘Do justice, sir, do justice!’ and Holmes stops their carriage. ‘That is not my job,’ he says. ‘It is my job to apply the law.’ Wait and see.
- And see what! My God Harry what’s he trying to do down there, the whole word flying to pieces war, drugs, people killed in the streets while this brilliant Federal judge up for the high court spends his precious time on this piece of junk sculpture and some dead dog,, what’s he trying to do!
- Trying to rescue the language, Christina. Wait and see.”

William Gaddis, A frolic of his own, Penguin, £7.99


3 commentaires:

  1. Kate said,

    Wait and see? "Justice? - you get justice in the next world, in this world, you have the law."

    on 5:33 AM

  2. Most memorable opening line!

    on 9:01 AM

  3. odot said,

    oh là là il faut que je t'envoie ma propre compil de citations de ce livre. elle doit faire dix pages....

    on 11:33 AM

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