The mystical sense of law

Authored by: Nicola Masciandaro

Routledge Handbook of Law and Theory

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138956469
eBook ISBN: 9781315665733
Adobe ISBN:


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Synaesthesia – a concept invented by Aristotle’s commentators – represents not only an aspect of law’s relation to the senses but the very interface between the sense of law and the law of sense. Synaesthesia is the law because synaesthesia senses, without sensing it as such, law per se. My essay pursues this insight in the form of a commentary on Arthur Rimbaud’s classic synaesthetic poem “Voyelles,” interpreting it as a pronunciation of the mystical sense of law. While the poem speaks about synaesthesia, there takes place within it another hidden word: the call of the poet as the one who utters law and the call of law as poetry. “Voyelles” is an openly secret demonstration of the fact that the poetic word of synaesthesia pronounces law.

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