Law and Literature 

Ruling Words, edited by
Sandrine Brisset with 
an introduction by former
Justice Bryan McMahon 

ISBN: 978-0-9574947-2-5

Format: Paperback
192 pages

Price: €24.90 


Ruling Words: Perspectives in Law 
and Literature is a collection of 
academic papers written by
international scholars.

In ‘Literature/Shakespeare in the Law, II’, Sebastian McEvoy examines the function of ‘Shakespeare’ in adjudication with a particular focus on Romeo and Juliet.Derek Dunne’s piece looks into ‘What Early Modern Revenge Tragedy has to Teach Us about Jurisprudence’ and considers revenge tragedy as a critique of Early Modern English legal practices. 

Anne-Marie O’Connell examines ‘Marriage as a legal comedy in Brian Merriman’s Midnight Court’. In his contribution to the volume, Eugene McNulty looks at Ireland as a Crime Scene and focuses on Gerald Griffin’s The Collegians as a case of legal containment. Turning to the work of Honoré de Balzac, Sandrine BrissetNicolas Dissaux and Paule Salerno take a Balzacian perspective in ‘Law: A Human Comedy’. Órla Ní Chuilleanáin examines Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille and ‘Clapsholas Fómhair’ and focuses on the tensions between Law and Community in these works.

Shaeda Isani writes about ‘The Dual Identity of the Lawyer-cum-author in Fiction à Substrat Professionnel and the Discourse of Self-replicating Professional Representation’. Turning to writing for the small screen, Sandrine Chapon examines Intertextuality and the Construction of a Fictional Real in Law-Related American Television Series’. Finally, in a very original piece, Agnieszka Doczekalska writes about scanlation, and a balance could be found ‘between the Right to Culture and Copyright Protection’.




Published: 17 April 2013
ISBN: 9780957494701
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240 pages

Price: €16.95

Brendan Kennelly: Behind the Smile explores both the life and the work of Ireland’s best-loved poet.Since the 1960s, readers of poetry, television viewers and radio listeners have developed a special relationship with Brendan Kennelly, the mercurial poet, broadcaster and Trinity College Dublin professor. He became the jovial, roguish and charming Kerry poet that the public knows so well. This mask conquered many Irish hearts and Kennelly assumed the role of the nation’s poet confessor. But despite the warmth and affection he enjoys, there is a dark side to Kennelly. This gripping account of Brendan Kennelly's life and work takes the reader on a journey from public comedy to private tragedy. Written by a French scholar, BRENDAN KENNELLY: BEHIND THE SMILE offers readers the critical perspective of an outsider who has become an insider.

SANDRINE BRISSET comes from Brittany, in the West of France, and has been living in Dublin for over a decade. She has lectured in the Law School at Trinity College, Dublin and in the English Department at Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. During that time, she has enjoyed daily contact with Brendan Kennelly and has become a colleague, a neighbour, and most of all a close friend. Her critical understanding and personal insight prompted Kennelly to say: ‘I feel she knows more about me than I do about myself.’ Behind the Smile fulfils his wish that she should write a book about his private self.

BRENDAN KENNELLY, mercurial poet andTrinityCollegeprofessor, is a familiar if not ubiquitous figure inIreland. He is seen on television, in the newspapers, in advertisements, heard on the radio, met walking the streets ofDublinor sitting in his favourite café onDawson   Street.  Kennelly is approachable, Kennelly is popular and the same is true of his poetry. Everybody seems to know him, but there is a paradox here, forIreland’s best-loved poet remains an enigma. He’s one of the best-selling poets and at the same time, the apparent simplicity of his writing has defeated literary criticism. The poet has constructed a public image of himself in the media as an amicable figure with twinkling eyes, cherubic, dimpled smile and mellifluous voice. Yet, behind this flamboyant cliché, his writing has provided him with a space where the attentive reader can detect intimate and personal confidences. Often disguised in grotesque attire, this unobtrusive form of lyricism is all the more moving for its discretion.

Kennelly became ‘the people’s poet’ by assuming the features typical of an Irish bard. Establishing a caricature of himself, he became the jovial, alcoholic, roguish, promiscuous and charming Kerry poet. He combined the virtue of giving up his addiction to alcohol with the venality of advertisingToyota cars as a non-driver. He played on this public image to conquer many Irish hearts and become the nation’s darling poet. This book questions the caricature and demonstrates that a more complex phenomenon lies behind the apparent simplicity of both the man and his work. With Kennelly, comedy remains connected to tragedy. Close examination reveals how the cheerful rogue is also a tragic figure. This Brendan too embarked on an experimental voyage and, chameleon-like, the poet played at accentuating different facets of his personality. This was nonetheless a dangerous experiment. The public mask that Kennelly used to serve his public led to success, but also to profound loneliness.

            This book unveils the contorted reality behind Kennelly’s public smile. Poems, public performances, television appearances, radio programmes, prose and interviews have all formed part of this in-depth study.