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Response time was pretty bad around pm server time. There were a lot of additional users hitting the site all at the same time. I am not sure what had brought them here, but they appear to be gone now. Perhaps the slashdot effect. All occurrences of the word "Year" have been replaced with the word "Date". The changes affect all bibliographic pages, edit pages, mouse-over Help bubbles and Wiki-based Help.

They do not affect the way field names appear on moderator review pages due to certain technical issues which would take a huge amount of time address. If I missed anything, please let me know. I think we need to revisit the design of verification status panel to account for inactive verifiers. There are presently five primary verification slots and for many pubs these are completely filled. The majority of primary verifiers in many cases are inactive.

I propose that inactive primary verifiers should be removed as primary verifiers and moved to side under the heading of Inactive primary, thus opening up the slots for the active verifiers. Ahasuerus , 25 February UTC. The way publication dates appear in our standard publication listings -- the table format used by the title page, the publication series page, Advanced Search results, etc -- has been changed to be consistent with the standard title table.

If the table layout doesn't look quite right, please do a full page reload Control-F5 in most browsers which should refresh the formatting information used by your browser. Advanced Title Search has been modified to support specifying Synopsis and Notes search values in the same search. First, some searches take a long time to complete.

Not only is it an annoyance for the user who requested the search, but it can also affect other users if the Advanced Search locks certain parts of the database until it's done. For example, if you select:. It so happens that these two problems have the same root cause, namely the fact that we allow a combination of "AND" and "OR" conditions.

If we were to limit each Advanced Search type to either all "ANDs" or all "ORs", we could resolve these two problems relatively easily. Ahasuerus , 27 February UTC. I would like to switch Rie Sheridan's canonical name to Rie Sheridan Rose, which she's been using since and recently republished the old stories under the new name , since we now have more titles under the new name.

Shouldn't the section title "Shortfiction" on summary pages be changed to "Short Fiction"? There's already "Short Fiction Series". As we discussed earlier , the list of authors born today is becoming longer and longer. How does it sound? Ahasuerus , 1 March UTC. Once it has been implemented, we can tweak what is displayed in the columns. Ahasuerus , 3 March UTC. Ahasuerus , 2 March UTC. They are currently displayed as regular HTML links in square brackets.

At the same time we display the link that takes you to the tag editor "or manage Tags" , the "VOTE" link, the "view full Note" link and the "View all covers" link using a special "inverted" font. See Garan the Eternal for an example of a title page that uses all 4 links. Should we standardize the appearance of these links? If so, should we use the regular link format or the inverted one? It's a trivial change either way, we just need to decide what we want these links to look like. Personally I think that the "inverted" font looks spiffier.

I cannot agree on how spiffy such links appear, however, I do agree it makes sense to differentiate action links from normal navigational data links which should likely be persistent and externally linkable; action links like edit and vote, etc. Uzume , 3 March UTC. There seems to have been general acceptance of the idea of creating new title types for scripts and fake essays what to do about excerpts, on the other hand, remains uncertain. I think they would be easy to implement -- almost all existing examples of scripts could be found by searching notes, and as for the essays, some creative searching could find them too.

The only thing left to decide is what to call them. I suggest "script" and "fictive essay" not "fictional". Aside from the Title page, which is self-explanatory, I can think of two bibliographic pages which will display the data differently depending on our choice:. If we make it a title type, the Contents section of a Publication page will say something like:. As far as the Summary Bibliography page goes, the difference is that making it a separate title type will result in a new Summary section. On the other hand, if we make it a flag, then the affected titles will appear in the existing "Short Fiction" section with a " [fictive essay] " indicator added.

My current thinking is that a separate Summary page section for fictive essays may be excessive, so I would be inclined to go with a flag. The "submission viewer" page has been tweaked to display the name of the reviewing moderator, e. Can anyone see any reason why these two: Publication 1 and Publication 2 need to stay separate? It does look as an oversight when the second one was added but if someone can confirm, I can go ahead and merge all of the matching elements and find out which ones are not matching and why. Annie , 3 March UTC. The availability of the "[Edit]" links matches what is displayed in the navigation bar on the left: only moderators can edit award categories and award types.

Based on the recent discussion of Advanced Search, I have added "is not exactly" and "does not contain" to the drop-down list. Based on my testing, searches complete reasonably quickly if the results are manageable. If, however, you were to change the "AND" to an "OR" in this search, it would take well over 30 seconds to retrieve the data. Of course, the results wouldn't be particularly useful anyway. The good news is that lengthy searches don't seem to affect other users much because our server has had multiple processors since January Ahasuerus , 4 March UTC.

Also, Content values can't start with a slash and have to be less than 32 characters long. Ahasuerus , 5 March UTC. Under the current way we record magazines, there is no way to add an e-book version of the same magazine because it will show up on the grid as a duplicate. As a result we have some magazines that just show the duplicates, some where there are two separate series for what is essentially the same magazine - causing the records to drift from each other when they are not updated together or just not to have the e-versions recorded.

The last option is what we have for the big magazines - which is in contrast to the books records where we are recording down to printings. I know that some of you don't even want to think of the e-books but they are a reality and are here to stay. So anyone with ideas how to solve that little conundrum we are having?

I do not think that keeping them in separate series really make sense the drifting of content is going to continue , so we need other options. Moving the grid on the title level will require untangling the year records we have now Or even allowing a checkbox to "not show in the grid" which suppresses the second copy from clustering but allows it to be available for search a link will still be needed though - because we won't have the title to make it visible. Annie , 6 March UTC. If we do not employ some automated mass migration magic as you suggest , we would need an interim solution until everything is converted over.

This would then allow editorial records to be later merged we do not really need multiple records for multiple print runs unless there is some change to the editorial between runs which in most cases does not occur. For instance, once Clarkesworld print issues and Clarkesworld Magazine are converted to pub series, Clarkesworld print issues and Clarkesworld Magazine could be merged.

Neil Clarke and others earlier on would still get appropriate editorial credits but the magazine runs would show up on Clarkesworld Magazine and Wyrm Publishing since they are now a pub series entity. There are some caveats however. For example, currently we allow titles series to link to other title series but this is not true of pub series. Other differences to note are that pub series have transliterated names available and titles series to not probably not an issue for this migration concept. Pub series contain pubs and title series contain titles and as such this conversion would allow each pub in the pub series to also have a "Pub Series " that could correspond to its issue number I am not sure of a good way to automate such in a mass migration strategy.

We would likely also want to change several other things like magazine searches and directories to find the pub series and not the editorial series, etc. The point is we sort of want it to diverge as they represent different things the editorial of a magazine is related to but not the same as the magazine and its run itself. Uzume , 13 March UTC.

With identity theft becoming more of a concern and data deletion requests becoming more frequent, we need to update ISFDB:Policy re: living authors' dates of birth. Here is the latest major discussion of data deletion requests and other issues related to dates of birth. For simplicity's sake, I suggest that we use the same standard that Wikipedia uses :. We can eliminate "the person is borderline notable" part since we don't use notability as an inclusion criterion, but otherwise it seems to be a good fit.

Also, since Wikipedia and the ISFDB server are currently subject to the same national laws, it's likely that we'll find out about any legal challenge to Wikipedia's policy before we face a similar challenge. Based on these considerations and the linked Rules and Standards discussion, I plan to update the Policy page as follows:. I am not very happy with the "evidence" part of the proposed language, but I see no other way to prevent vandalism and frivolous requests.

Ahasuerus , 6 March UTC. The first one is how we want to define the "publicly available sources" which we are permitted to use. I think it would be prudent to explicitly exclude government courts, taxes, immigration, vehicle registration, etc. We can let other projects take care of the headaches that they cause. For example, just recently the SFE3 editors spent a fair amount of time exchanging e-mails, including scans of immigration records, with a certain SF writer who had disputed the year of birth listed by SFE3.

We bowed out of that dispute by saying that we'd quote whatever SFE3 settled on. The second issue has to do with documenting our sources of biographical data as well as author requests for data deletion. The plan has always to add a Note field to Author records and then to migrate Wiki-based Bio and Bibliographic pages to the Note field.

We still need to decide whether we want to have a separate "Bio" field as well. The third issue has to do with accommodating author requests to remove otherwise eligible data. However, I think we also want to allow authorized representatives Web masters, spouses, etc to make these types of requests.

For example, the person in the previously mentioned SFE3 controversy communicated via his Web master. The fourth issue is what types of biographical information we should be willing to remove upon request. At this point we have seen requests to delete:. Should we use the Wikipedia standard "If the subject complains What about requests to remove legal names?

Ahasuerus , 7 March UTC. As I am always getting confused - if we have a book containing 1 novel and 3 stories, is that an omnibus as it contains a novel or collection because the 3 stories are not published independently? In my mind, a novel in the content makes in an omnibus but our conventions are a bit confusing. Annie , 7 March UTC. As per FR and the earlier discussion of biographical data, we plan to migrate all of our "Bio" and "Author" pages from the Wiki to the database proper.

Changing the software to support a new field is not hard, I can do it in a few hours. However, first we need to decide whether we want to add:. It stands to reason that all Wiki-based "Author" pages will be migrated to the new "Note" field. The real challenge is deciding whether the contents of Wiki-based "Bio" pages can be accommodated by the "Note" field as well. Based on a cursory review of the "Bio" pages, we'll be dealing with the following scenarios:. Does this sound reasonable? Ahasuerus , 8 March UTC.

Here is what A. Clarke's Summary page looks like now. The data in the "New Note" column comes from the newly added "Author Note" field. Ahasuerus , 9 March UTC. The way Wiki links are displayed on the database side has been changed as part of the Wiki migration project. In the past the links were displayed regardless of whether a matching Wiki page existed. As of 15 minutes ago, the links are only displayed if a matching Wiki page exists.

Once the Wiki migration project has been completed, direct links to existing Wiki pages will be removed and we will use "Web pages" fields to link to the Wiki exclusively. For example, here is what the Summary page for an author without a language looks like. Here is an author with a language and no other data. Here is a publisher with a single publication.

In the past the line was only displayed if the author had an image on file. Ahasuerus , 12 March UTC. Something does look weird here. The Illusion Seekers. Why is this story credited to unknown and then varianted for the proper author? If the reason is because P.

Costello is a pseudonym then shouldn't instead it go to whoever is pseudonymed for? As it is - it is extremely hard to get a listing for "P. Costello" the show all titles format is awkward and unwieldy for things like that and this specific story only shows on the unknown list - which is unmanageable.

Is this by design? If so, why? Annie , 9 March UTC. The rules for their migration are the same as for all the other cleanup reports. As of last Saturday, we had 1, "Author" pages, 2, "Bio" pages, 30 Talk pages, and orphan pages. Now that "Author Note" is live, it occurs to me that we may want to add support for Wiki-style templates. We can add the functionality to the database side if it is deemed desirable. Ditto for publishers. Ahasuerus , 10 March UTC. Advanced Author Search has been updated to support Author Notes. Starting a new section since the "Author Note" field is now available and the last discussion is kind of buried anyway.

Based on what we discussed earlier and the original Rules and Standards discussion , I would like to propose the following data deletion language:. The idea here is to express our intent and codify our de facto policy while giving editors some leeway when dealing with specific requests. Ahasuerus , 11 March UTC. The affected record has been updated and the author has been notified. Ahasuerus , 15 March UTC. There has been a small change to Template:AuthorFields:LegalName to allow for capturing of suffixes that are part of an author's legal name, when we have evidence that its inclusion in the legal name is actually the case.

It should be added to the end of the normal legal name entry separated by a comma Lastname, Firstname Middlenames , Suffix. Additional cleanup reports have been made available to all editors. More to come. Here's an idea for a cleanup project: finding magazines whose date is incorrectly set to the exact date of publication rather than the cover date. Checking all magazines with a day value other than 00 wouldn't catch all problems but would be an improvement.

Manageable if you could ignore at a stroke all issues of a magazine that correctly has days. Once found, fixing the problem would be a bit of a pain because of having to correct the dates of covers and contents too. We have three 'yearling newbery' publishers [1]. Perhaps Yearling Newbery be considered a publication series of the Yearling imprint, or various Yearling imprints, which may or may not have multiple parent publishers. At the moment none of the several 'yearling' publishers, with or without 'newbery' in its name, has a Yearling Newbery publication series.

If these were years older I would make Yearling Newbery a publication series, presumably across multiple renditions of Yearling, and eliminate the three publishers listed above. Three of the publications by these publishers are primary verified including one by me, transient. Any comments? Stonecreek , 13 March UTC.

Ahasuerus , 13 March UTC. Earlier today I was looking for something else when I stumbled upon the following FR :. It would be fairly easy to do what the FR requests. However, first let's make sure that we understand what the change would entail. Since it's not a COVERART title, we display either the scans of the covers of the 4 pubs in which this title appears or, depending on the user's preferences, a link to the "All Covers" page. Is this a desirable trade-off? Diabolical Plots pays pro rates, so I've been cataloguing its fiction even though it's web only.

This site also features regular content related to the craft of writing. I think it's another one to be treated the same way as Tor. What do you folks say? If you encounter any problems, please let me know. Ahasuerus , 14 March UTC. The other day Uzume pointed out that the layout of the Publication page had gotten out of sync with the layout of the other bibliographic pages. The former had separate boxes for publication metadata, "Contents" and "Verification Status".

The rest of the bibliographic pages didn't. Glory Road can serve as an example of a title which has all of the listed sections. Its variant Het Pad van Roem is an example of a minimalistic title. Please note that various bullet lists and tables have been adjusted to align vertically across boxes. As always, you may need to force a page refresh Control-F5 in most browsers to see the new layout. This patch is experimental.

It's hard to explain visual design in words, so I figured it would be easier to tweak the layout of one page and gather feedback. Once we agree on the optimal layout, I will implement the changes across all bibliographic pages. Please use Control-F5 to load the new layout. There is more white space between the word "Publication" and the table that follows it than in the other boxes; it will take another patch to get everything in sync. At this time the second box from the top contains a list of VTs and a list of serializations if they exist.

We can reorganize it as follows:. This will reduce the amount of "stuff" between the box with the metadata and the "Publications" box. There is a fair amount of history here. Back in , i. For example, one of our original robots had run amok and imported thousands of "out of scope" records from library catalogs. Many other records were missing even the most basic bibliographic data. During that era, title-level bibliographic warnings were useful because they let you identify potential problems with multiple publications at a glance.

However, as data quality improved, the usefulness of bibliographic warnings declined. These days, if a publication record doesn't have some bibliographic information, chances are that there is a good reason for that. We are getting low on disk space, so it's time to purge Wiki history again. All but the last 50 versions of each Wiki page will be deleted. The server will be unavailable between am and am server time. It's possible that it may take even longer. Our Author record conflates two illustrators.

VTs' authors are no longer displayed if they are the same as the parent's authors. If authors are displayed, they use the standard "as by" syntax and square brackets, e. Looking into adding more columns. Ahasuerus , 16 March UTC. Some examples:. Re: background colors. As Vasha pointed out, there is a discrepancy between the way "Other Titles" and "Awards" are displayed darker colors and the way "Publications" are displayed lighter colors. Upon closer examination, it turns out that the "lighter colors" scheme was originally added due to a programming error.

However, we have been using it as part of the standard "Publications" table for about a year now and there have been no complaints. On the other hand, there are plenty of other tables which use the original, darker, scheme starting with the Forthcoming Books page. I guess the question is whether we want to standardize the color scheme and, if so, which scheme we want to pick.

I wonder if it is time to have a different view for art titles: 2 columns one for cover art, one for interior - that is a more meaningful distinction than language here, both having language and year columns. Any thoughts on that? Annie , 16 March UTC. I know it has been mentioned that the "Other Titles" and "Awards" as well as "Bibliographic Warnings" but that is after boxes push the "Publications" box somewhat far down the page. I realize this would not work for our JavaScript-less users e. Uzume , 3 April UTC. In the course of this discussion , the question arose: would it be desirable to have the option to display a linked record the discussion concerned authors, but it's not limited to them with a different link text than the page title?

I think yes, and in particular it would be good to be able to display disambiguated authors without the disambiguator which is not very informative. Ahasuerus, if I'm summarizing him correctly, thinks that for the sake of consistency and avoiding any possible confusion, the link text should always be the exact page title. As discussed earlier, it's nothing fancy, but using it should make migrating translators to the new system -- once we have it in place -- easier. I see that there are 2, title records that include the phrase "originally published", "originally appeared", or "originally printed".

Ideally, none of those would be necessary because you could just look at the title record and SEE where the first appearance was. But it would take an awful lot of work to achieve that ideal. Chavey , 17 March UTC. Ahasuerus , 17 March UTC. The new Amazon templates have stopped linking. They worked great on the first day then stopped. We have the series of chapbooks over here and the webzine entries here.

The stories are properly merged. Any objections to varianting them properly both are always visible - one in Amazon, one in tor. Or am I missing a reason not to? Annie , 17 March UTC. The layout of the Publisher page has been aligned with the recently tweaked layout of the Title pages. Here is an example of what a publisher with a limited amount of data looks like.

And here is what a publisher with a lot of data looks like. Ahasuerus , 18 March UTC. Based on the discussion of the Title page that we had a few days ago, I have further synchronized the layouts of the "content boxes" on the Title, Publication and Publisher pages. Please note that the layout of what's inside these boxes is still somewhat inconsistent and will be revisited later, but at least the relative position of the boxes, their margins, white space padding, etc are now the same.

I plan to make the same changes to all the other bibliographic pages shortly. Ahasuerus , 21 March UTC. I've created two wiki pages with a lot of help from Annie-- thanks again! They are schedules of expected forthcoming publications that can be used on a monthly basis for database updates; they also show which issues and volumes have contents records.

Please take a look and tell me what you think of the design, and of the "How to Use" information at the bottom of the pages. Improvements will be gratefully accepted. I had been adding some entries here and it strikes me that most of the records are set to "tp" instead of "dos". Am I misunderstanding what "dos" is supposed to be used for? Or do most of these need a format conversion? Annie , 22 March UTC. Can we add this award to the available awards in the database?

It's a popular vote people vote on the website set of awards given out each year since for the Legend Award, and for the other two for fantasy books. There are three specific awards:. The short name for the award is "Gemmell Award". Can Akkadian be added as a language selection? I'm concerned with The Epic of Gilgamesh. And so on, for whichever categories we would cover? It might be a good way to collaborate with the Hugo, Nebula, Dragon Award, etc. What do you think? Can someone that understand the series of Perry Rhodan figure out which of the series should the three listed here go and add them to their proper series and single title record as these are from the same year.

Annie , 29 March UTC. The "review" page for Make Variant submissions has been changed. The following lines have been added:. When varianting to an existing title, any mismatches will generate a warning. Ahasuerus , 30 March UTC. Title pages have been modified not to display "missing page count" warnings for webzines, audio books and digital books. Ahasuerus , 31 March UTC. You may need to do a full form re-load Control-F5 in most browsers for the new functionality to become available immediately.

Ahasuerus , 1 April UTC. Ahasuerus , 2 April UTC. The server will be unavailable between pm and pm server US Eastern time. I have been doing some title merges for Japanese magazine editorial records making them "annualized" and I have noticed an issue related to transliterated titles. Instead of letting me pick which title record to take transliterated titles from, it automatically just forces me to take them all which is not right and now I have to go back and edit the titles individually to remove these incorrect transliterated titles.

Can this be fixed? Is it time to implement the PLAY title type yet? I just added half-a-dozen more of them today. A cappella Zoo loved to publish mini-dramas. This will remove the need to link to the NDL in many notes. Ahasuerus , 6 April UTC. An editor has proposed deleting the non-genre works of Elizabeth Goudge and Pamela Cleaver as both being below the threshold. Given the variety of opinions of that term and the fact that each author has more than a handful of genre works, I'm listing it here for community input. If there is no input within the next day or so, I will accept the deletions.

I wouldn't consider him in that way and thus delete his non-genre works. The majority of his works seems to lay outside our boundaries, but I'll appreciate any input before taking any action. Thanks for your thoughts. Stonecreek , 5 April UTC. Even more cleanup reports have been made available to all editors. Ahasuerus , 5 April UTC. I have made some experimental changes to the "Other Sites" section based on our discussion the other day. The links are now hidden by default. Users can access them by moving the cursor to the words "Other Sites", which have a big down arrow next to them.

The rest of the functionality, including the ability to select and deselect sites on the My Web Sites page, remains the same. Looking at the results, it occurs to me that we could move the list next to the "ISBN" field. The only reason we originally added it to the navigation bar was that we didn't want to clutter the main area.

However, now that the list is hidden by default, it should no longer be a problem. We'll just display the words "Other Sites" and an arrow to let the user know that more information is available. Ahasuerus , 7 April UTC. I image the answer will be "no" but for some reason I feel the need to throw it out there and ask this anyway. Among them is Amazon. Smashwords seems to link it cover images from the DNS space of cloudfront.

Can we use such image URLs since apparently cloudfront. It would certainly make adding the indie ebooks Smashwords publishes easier to add they seem to allocate ISBNs to their ebooks unlike Amazon Kindle. Moreover, certain jurisprudential schools, such as legal positivism, assert specific connections between law and science, often claiming a corresponding separation of law from art, as well as from morality.

ISFDB:Community Portal/Archive/Archive42 - ISFDB

However, on the contrary, art may function to rescue and redeem law Boyd White, It enriches the legal imagination. This is no anodyne, trivial function. Understanding law in this broader way, and relating it to art or literature, expands our sympathetic identification with those in very different contexts and experiences. It contributes 1 I am grateful to the editors of the special issue of this journal, two anonymous reviewers, and participants at the University of Copenhagen seminar May , Hart Workshop , and Critical Legal Conference in Belfast for very helpful comments on aspects of this article.

However, even if legal scholarship does not warm to visual culture, it has become more and more frequent for images to be employed in lectures and powerpoint presentations — an under-observed phenomenon, which suggests that lawyers do find images to be a valuable resource in explicating the law. It provides a means through which we learn to improve the law and become better lawyers.

  • Table of contents.
  • ISFDB:Community Portal/Archive/Archive42.
  • A Place to Be: Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican Immigrants in Floridas New Destinations;
  • As You Like It (With Significant Notes on Shakespeare and the play)!

Moreover, law is not the autonomous discipline it presents itself as, animated only by its own forms and creations. The increasing growth of interdisciplinary approaches and journals acknowledges this. Law is not a self-contained discipline - indeed the law is anything but a law unto itself. Images perform a vast array of functions — they help organize our mental representations, excite our imagination, and support all types of experience, both poetic and prosaic.

Sionaidh Douglas-Scott 19 of a concept cannot be given because new and unforeseen cases may arise that do not share any asserted common denominator. I prefer to avoid the philosophical and disciplinary quandaries of what might constitute art. The power of images is no passive, inert phenomenon. Most vigorous are the images in film, that animate law in representing it, that literally speak back to us, even if more ephemerally than solid objects such as paintings.

Society has been disturbed, perplexed and provoked to violence by images. Member of the Fraternity of S. These devotional images were painted on one side with scenes of the Passion of Christ and on the other with a depiction of martyrdom akin to that which the prisoner was likely to face. Yet records suggest that this practice did provide solace and spiritual comfort to at least some condemned — evidence of the extraordinary power images may possess. Therefore, notwithstanding that western law has tended to oppose reason and emotion, it is the case that images, often strongly grounded in our emotions, provide very powerful arguments for action — regardless of whether these images are in fact trustworthy, or form the basis of a sound argument, as the power of advertising illustrates.

The ubiquitous, pervasive, presence of images provides a particularly powerful cultural reference for law. Law institutionalizes images as official ways of seeing Berger, bringing into being or affirming particular ways of living. As much as the violence and power that underpin law, images play their part in enforcing and maintaining the law. This point is surely uncontroversial and is clearly illustrated through more specific examples.

A further artillery of images imposes legal authority - wigs, robes, sword and scales of justice, gavel, black cap, prison bars, judicial portraiture, all constitutive of a particular sensory perception of the world which law itself has created, and embellished, to ensure esteem and respect for itself.

This legal aesthetic is a form of cultural experience that shapes and enforces our cognitive and emotive understandings of law. However, any relationship openly acknowledged by law with the image is one of control and manipulation. Likewise, law polices its own image by filtering it through its own iconography - the forms of authority, justice, sovereignty, rationalism, legality and order, precedent and res judicata, bar and bench, and so on. Law manipulates its images, rather than permitting a dialogue with them. Yet why should we allow law to dominate the relationship in this way?

Law may itself be interpreted as an art form, one of the liberal arts, but that is not all that it is. Law makes use of images, but is not reducible to images. Nor can art be straightforwardly compared to law. There exists no unambiguous analogy between art and law, and there are of course many points of difference between them. To be sure, one should not make inordinate claims for an approach that seeks to understand law in terms of a relationship between law and the humanities, culture and art.

We cannot equate the creative process for judges, who write judgements, with that of literary authors, who write fiction, or artists who paint legal scenes. Rhetoric and cultural issues bestride these two domains, but artists are not practising law, nor are great judgements literary novels. To understand it through the medium of images adds a density and a complexity to our comprehension of law, and reveals tacit assumptions, incongruities and solecisms in the workings of the law.

Using images to understand law There are many ways in which one can write about law and image. However, in my work, I have tended to focus on specific legal concepts — for example, aspects of human rights and EU law - and used images to enhance understanding of them, without overtly interrogating the nature of this relationship, partly because the images are capable of doing their own work without further pedagogic treatment.

In this article, I look at one particular and very familiar legal concept — the rule of law — to illustrate the work that images may achieve in furthering and enriching our understanding of law, but I also take a step back and look at the relationship of law to image more generally. Indeed, I believe the rule of law to be particularly apposite for investigation through visual resources, as it is a concept assumed by many — laypersons and lawyers - to be at the heart of legal aspirations, often venerated, sometimes seen as so basic and familiar as to need little explanation.

For many people, the rule of law is simply law. Everyone has some sort of image of it in their mind. One need not be a legal specialist to have at least some sense of its import. Sionaidh Douglas-Scott 23 The rule of law as a particular aesthetic of law The image below, or something like it, should be familiar to anyone reading this article. Such images abound, usually in the vicinity of law courts. The figure of Justice, carrying the scales aloft - sometimes blindfolded to suggest it is fair and uncorrupted by bias - is usually portrayed in classical mode as is this one, which has its origins deep in the canon of western sculpture, a lofty canon which the law is keen to embrace.

The figure is emblematic, easily read as Justice, often taken to be synonymous with law. It connotes the very values of the rule of law — a domain of law A Familiar Image of Justice and not despotism and bias. The rule of law is not merely one set of legal rules but instead could be seen as constituting the legal self-understanding of communities Kahn, It is a pervasive concept. Yet what exactly is the relationship of the rule of law to law, and to justice?

What do we understand by this vague, overused term? This discussion will of necessity be brief and I have written at much greater length about the rule of law elsewhere Douglas-Scott, However, most would agree that the rule of law has traditionally required state action to rest on legal norms that are general in character, relatively clear, certain, public, prospective, and stable, as well as recognizing the equality of subjects before the law Raz , Fuller It stresses the fixed and stable enforcement of general principles - legitimate expectations, formal rights of access to the courts, equality before the law - a predictable mapping of the world in legal terms.

Its benefits can be stated simply. It restricts the abuse of power. Observance of the rule of law enhances certainty, predictability and security both among individuals and between both citizens and government, as well as restricting governmental discretion. Thus it has both private and public law functions — an attraction in the world of growing legal pluralism.

These are perceived to be formal requirements of law, rather than substantive content which might derive from a particular theory of justice. Adherence to the rule of law is perceived as necessary to ensure the legitimacy of law. Legitimacy thus overtakes morality as a significant benchmark of law. In sum, we might say that these features generality, clarity, neutrality, publicity etc. Yet the rule of law is clearly not without its detractors. Indeed, jurists have tended to take polarized views of the nature of the rule of law, viewing it either as ideal or ideology, good or bad.

The rule of law undoubtedly has a powerful legitimating function. As such, it may be manipulated by cynical governments, who play lip service to its tenets while in fact flouting them. It is also undeniable that the rule of law has a connection with a certain type of liberalism, and this connection also renders it amenable to criticism. For further on this, see Douglas-Scott , chapter 7. And capitalism of course has its dark side too.

In the case of English law, this link can be dated back to the 17th century, and the connection drawn between law, government and property. Both liberal and critical accounts highlight certain features as indicative of this connection between capitalism and the rule of law. For example, it might seem that capitalism and economic development require certainty, predictability and security in order to flourish.

The origins of the EU can at least partially be explained in this way. Thus capitalism is able to focus on commerce rather than on shielding its existing efforts from capricious conduct. The Allegory of the Freedom of Trade painted by the 17th century Netherlands artist, Gerard de Lairesse, captures these links very appositely. Winged cherubs rush to place a naval crown symbolizing the freedom of the seas, very important to Dutch trade at the time on the figure.

However, the mercantilism that brought so much trade and prosperity to Holland in its Golden Age - a global commerce that was one of the earliest examples of modern capitalism, and whose produce was so ably illustrated in the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age - also had its dark side. Investment in the Dutch West Indies company fuelled the slave trade.

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Arguably, it was exploitation that propelled this Dutch commerce, and Karl Marx reproved the Dutch Republic as an example of early capitalism much as he was later to castigate England for the full-blown version. But a closer look undermines this reading. The triptych has been known for some time as the Triumph of Peace, although actually represents an allegory of the city of Amsterdam as a protector of freedom.

However our contemporary free trade has its dark side too. From the Rule of Law to the Survival of the Fattest The rule of law is certainly not without its detractors in the contemporary international setting. The Marxist critique of the rule of law sees law as underpinning the ideology of capitalism. Yet this has not been the result, and most of the countries undergoing these programmes have generally not flourished.

He is sinking under the burden. I would do anything to help him. Except stepping down from his back. Courtesy of www. The chimneys at the other side of the harbour, billowing out smoke, also add to the irony, conveying an image of a duplicitous west, profiting off the backs of the poor, and polluting the environment at the same time, while appearing to work hard to prevent global warming.

This work provides a poignant contrast to the earlier allegory of trade by de Lairesse. This work has none of the positive and perhaps unjustified optimism of de Lairesse. In this next illustration Fig 5 , we see the work close up, away from its location in Copenhagen harbour. Behind her, this time, stand an oversized set of scales, 8 metres high.

On one side of these scales hangs a dead cow, suspended by its legs, and on the other a number of emaciated developing world people, outweighed by the ponderous, corpulent, dead cow. In the rich part of the world our main scourge is obesity due to overconsumption while people in the third world are dying of hunger. The misery is creating floods of immigrants. In a desperate attempt to entrench ourselves and preserve our privileges we resort to measures so harsh that we betray our ideals of humanism and democracy.

I employ these works to illustrate how visual perception has an important role to play, how images can inspire and engage us, in our understanding of law. I leave it to the spectators to work out the answers for themselves. They increase our imaginative capacity, better equipping us to make the judgements that public life requires of us, forcing us through imaginative reception to change our attitudes in radical ways.

If we take a standard image of justice, such as that above in Fig 2, in traditional form, and readily associated with the rule of law, we see an image that the law itself is happy to acknowledge, one that it has made its own. An image of harmony, authority and order. But why should we allow law to control our visual perceptions of justice? Why should justice always be associated with idealised Caucasian looks deriving from ancient sculptural canons in any case?

Why should we allow an unrealistic ideal of harmony and order to dominate our perceptions of justice when law fails to deliver them? For justice as it exists in the world is not just a matter of harmony, authority and order. Law, and its institutions and personnel, perpetuate injustice as often as justice. Gonzales, Counsel to the President Aug. If the rule of law is to endure, then it must be valued and have some resonance over and above the anaemic, spiritless, familiar representations of justice.

There is a blandness and impersonality in too many understandings of law and justice. They fail to motivate, leaving us disaffected and estranged. If the rule of law and justice are to be meaningful then they must animate and rouse citizens, so that we care if they are being undermined in practice and we strive to recover and amend them. Images of law and justice provide the necessary motivation to reimagine and transform our perceptions, and thus are crucial assets, not to be ignored see also Manderson, - contrary to the popular reactions to the pairings of law and images cited at the outset of this article.

Enriching the legal imagination I conclude by recapitulating in a more general form the argument already made for the relevance of art, and the image, to law, to stress the role that cultural influences play in fashioning law and the ways in which we understand it. Law may be interpreted as a symbolic form Kahn , Cassirer that attempts to construct its own domain of meaning.

It asserts its intrinsic ways of seeing, and in so doing, aims to structure our consciousness, and create specific ways of being in the world. Law should not always control the interpretation of its images. In this context, academics have a particularly important role, given that they can write about law without regard for the constraints that practitioners and judges face - such as client pressures and demands, and the burden of legal forms and precedents — and thus academics can be alert to the sometimes pernicious nature of the legal aesthetic, without fear of compromising professional standing.

It is often said that the postmodern condition is one in which there exists a crisis of values, and a loss of faith Lyotard, , created by the dissipation of traditional forms of value and traditions. In this situation, an economic, instrumentalist logic, a creature of capitalism, has tended to dominate and function as a place marker for legitimacy. There has too often existed an unhappy alliance between law and capitalism.

Therefore, in conclusion, I argue that an interdisciplinary, contextual approach, one that shapes our understanding of law in its cultural context, and one alert to the huge significance of images as a critical and highly relevant cultural asset, furnishes not only an important form of resistance against a contemporary drift, but also provides a richer understanding of law — indeed, one that aids us in our search for justice. References Berger, John : Ways of Seeing. Penguin Books.

Yale University Press. O Ben-Dor, Routledge, Douzinas, Costas and Nead, Lynda eds. University of Chicago Press. Hutchinson, Allan : Dwelling on the Threshold. Toronto: Carswell. Verschuuren eds. Manchester University Press.

Marcuse, H. Palombella, G. New York: Routledge. Shklar, Judith N. The Rule of Law: Ideal or Ideology. Gerth, and C. Mills eds.

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Young, Alison : Judging the Image. Psychology Press. Set in , five years after the end of the Spanish Civil War , the film tells the story of eleven- year-old Ofelia, who is forced to move with her pregnant mother Carmen to a remote military post where her new stepfather, Francoist Captain Vidal, has been assigned to exterminate the guerrillas.

The film testifies to the horrors of these two worlds the historical world of Francoism and the fantasy world of fairies and monsters and challenges viewers to reflect upon their own responses to them. BOE n. Diligencias Previas Proc. This article is thus less concerned with what the content of these graphic images is, than with how this content is shown and witnessed. Questions about violence and witnessing are gaining urgency at a time when ever more images of suffering and death are being shown worldwide, whether on TV, cinema, video-games, internet, or the courts i.

Abu Ghraib torture pictures, war atrocities, decapitation of civilians, terrorism trials. What kind of gaze and perception do they create? What kind of affective responses do they produce? What kind of judgements do they invite? What sense of in justice do they create? Do they generate desensitization towards violence so that it would be preferable not to show or see them?

Scholars such as Kelly Oliver , Judith Butler and Alison Young have pointed out that these questions must be addressed in order to understand how these images shape our views and attributions of responsibility, blame, and in justice. What is needed, these scholars claim, is to create forms of responsible witnessing that enable viewers to self-critically reflect on how they engage with these images and to take responsibility for what and how they see or do not see.

In their view, only this kind of self-interrogation opens up the possibility for an ethical way of looking. For these purposes, I have organized the analysis into five sections. The article concludes by exploring the kind of responsible witnessing the film requires from viewers. The sequence opens with a black screen, with the sound of a child struggling to breathe and a female voice Mercedes humming a lullaby in the background. The Civil War is over. Hidden in the mountains, armed men fight the new fascist regime, military posts are established to exterminate the resistance.

The moment the last drop of blood disappears back into her nose the scene is shot in reverse , Ofelia looks directly at the camera to the viewer and a third-person male voice-over which is later recognized as the Faun begins the fairy tale narrative. Monica Lopez Lerma 39 different but interconnected cinematic techniques: narrative reversal, third-person voice- over, and direct address when a character looks directly into the camera at the viewer. In this way, the title sequence does more than look back in retrospect at events; rather, it activates or sets them in motion.

Second, through the third-person voice-over the title sequence frames the entire film as a fairy tale. The voice-over tells the story of Princess Moanna, who dreamt of blue skies and sunshine and escaped the Realm of the Underworld to join the human world above. The sequence closes with an image of a caravan of cars bearing fascist symbols approaching the emblematic war wreckage town of Belchite Smith: , On the other hand, it draws attention to the double-layering of the story— reality and fantasy, history and myth, image and voice, sight and blindness, memory and forgetting, forcing viewers to take a critical distance from which to question what and how they see and hear.

Today, Belchite remains in ruins, kept as a historic site dedicated to reminding future generations of the legacy of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. The face is neither the assemblage of brow, nose, eyes, and mouth, nor the representation of the soul, self, or subjectivity. Such an obligation is not a matter of imposing a moral obligation to act but of taking responsibility for the singularity of the other. Through the technique of direct address, the film implicates viewers ethically in the scene of violence, in three interconnected ways: First, by looking back at viewers, Ofelia openly acknowledges their presence and challenges the idea of the viewer as voyeur.

Second, in returning her gaze to the viewer, Ofelia imposes herself as a speaking subject, challenging an objectifying and compassionate gaze at her suffering. Third, by directly addressing viewers for there is no other addressee in the diegesis , Ofelia places them in the position of addressees of her suffering, that is, as witnesses to her testimony to which they must respond beyond vision and knowledge.

In his view, art consists in replacing the object with its image a shadow, a caricature, a neutralizing vision of the object Levinas: , , , For discussions on the ethical dimension of art from a Levinasian perspective see, among others, Cooper ; Gerbaz ; Saxton ; and Panu Approximately 20, Republican men and women were executed after the war; tens of thousands died in prison and concentration camps because of the appalling conditions overcrowding, malnutrition and disease Preston: , xi, ; many others committed suicide after suffering torture, maltreatment and humiliation Richards: , In addition, more than half a million survivors were forced into exile.

Those few who decided to continue to fight against the regime small guerrilla groups that launched occasional attacks against Guardia Civil barracks had little option but to seek refuge in the mountains, having to prioritize survival over political activity Richards: , In the film, a hunger pact is decided over the copious dinner that Vidal organizes with the representatives of the local authorities among others, the Mayor and his wife, the Priest, the Guardia Civil captain and Doctor Ferreiro, who happens to be secretly helping the resistance , all of which underscores the divide between social classes and between the victors and the vanquished.

After examining the ration cards, the Mayor asks whether one card would suffice for an entire family. What happens to their bodies, well, it hardly matters to Him. In a subsequent scene, Vidal himself is seen supervising the distribution of food. Each ration is contained in a brown bag with a printed legend that the Guardia Civil captain reads aloud to a large crowd of people queuing for their ration with cards in hand.

Which we keep safe in this mill. Then, he shoots the father twice in cold blood and turns to the son again to shoot him dead. With much self-control, the prisoner manages to count until two, although he is finally unable to overcome his anxiety and fails to say number three without stuttering. The scene closes with the sound of a sickening thud and a blank screen, leaving the viewer with a nauseous feeling of realization and horror. The prisoner is now desperately begging doctor Ferreiro to kill him because he has given up some information. At the same time, the film neither exonerates Vidal nor excuses his actions by presenting them as part of impersonal social forces, for he remains responsible for the sadistic violence he inflicts on his victims.

By granting individual agency to Vidal in the midst of the social conditions that frame his actions, the film enables viewers to witness, interpret, and judge the acts of violence he performs. I was invisible to you. Mercedes The second part of the film shows how the guerrilla fighters are still able to maintain their humanity and dignity despite the brutality of the regime.

It is no coincidence that the story is set in , when thousands of maquis—Spanish Republicans who had fought in the French resistance—returned to Spain to continue their fight against fascism, hoping that with the end of World War II the Allies would join them in their struggle against Francoism Maroto: , Despite their defeat, many of the guerrilla fighters refused to return to France and opted instead to penetrate the interior, where they could either reinforce existing guerrilla bands or create new ones with more military experience Anonymous: , The peak of the guerrilla action took place between and You should take care of Mercedes.

This is a lost cause. Second, the film transforms the seemingly futile choice of the guerrilla fighters into a heroic albeit transient triumph. What is crucial about these two scenes is how staging, cinematography and editing both mirror and invert the two previously analysed scenes of violence, and are meant to provoke opposite reactions from the viewer.

Mercedes manages to cut her ropes with a kitchen knife she had hidden in her apron while Vidal prepares his instruments of torture. As he begins to recite the same torture routine he employed with the stuttering prisoner, she interrupts him by stabbing him repeatedly Orme: , As in the previous torture scene, a series of reverse shots incorporates shifting points of view, so that the viewer can experience both the power and agency of the victim, now turned torturer, and the powerlessness and objectification of the torturer, now turned victim. Theses frames not only function as markers of what is visible or invisible, what can be heard or not, who is included or excluded, who counts as a subject or not, whose voices are significant or insignificant.

They also map a repertoire of appropriate or inappropriate affects either encouraging, or repressing them in response to certain images, sounds, and narratives. Therefore, as viewers, we have to ask ourselves how these conceptions of justified and unjustified forms of violence are built into the narrative.

Furthermore, if the film seems to engage the viewer in the objectifying logic it tries to criticize, to what extent is a critical and responsible view of the title sequence even possible? In the following section, I suggest that, through the fairytale world of Ofelia, the film constructs a position for viewers that enables them to engage in vigilant witnessing. Parallel editing reinforces this interconnection Smith: For instance, the magic key, which Ofelia must retrieve from the entrails of the giant toad in her first task in order to save an ancient fig tree from dying, evokes the secret key to the warehouse that Mercedes retrieves from Vidal to save the resistance fighters from starving.

Parallelisms can also be drawn at the level of the characters, for example between Vidal and the Pale Man Smith: This is most evident in the scene 20 This image makes a clear historical reference to the Holocaust Picart et al. Moments later, Vidal, with the ghastly joker smile on his face, is also seen gauchely chasing Ofelia through the labyrinth.

The Faun angrily reminds her that she had promised to obey him blindly. At this moment, Vidal enters the labyrinth and sees Ofelia standing alone, speaking to no one. A reverse shot visually places him in front of the Faun as if mirroring each other. The Faun disappears into the darkness and Vidal takes his son from Ofelia and shoots her. Film critics and scholars have differently interpreted the role and significance of the fairy tale in the film. A second group of scholars views the fairy tale not as fantasy but as a form of resistance. A third group of scholars argues that the significance of the fairy tale lies in its ability to render visible the invisible and to speak the unspeakable.

A fourth and final group of critics calls attention to the ideological purposes of the fairy tale. Whereas critics debate the role of the fairy tale in the film—either fantasy, resistance, disclosure, or ideology—I want to emphasize differently that the fairy tale enables construction of vigilant witnessing, which is underlined from the outset. Ofelia is reading a book with an illustration of a little girl playing with flying fairies.

There, she stumbles upon a stone that resembles a human eye and finds an ancient Celtic stone sculpture with a missing eye and the mouth wide open. Ofelia identifies the insect as a fairy—who will guide her through the labyrinth to meet the Faun. This vigilant perspective is constructed by a double mediation, where history is mediated by fantasy and fantasy is mediated by history.

As an eyewitness, Ofelia occupies a particular subject position in a concrete socio-historical context: She is the daughter of a Republican father killed in the Civil War and is forced to move to a remote military post with her pregnant mother who has remarried and her new stepfather Vidal, whose mission is to exterminate the Republicans and subjects her to cruelty and humiliation.

Ofelia only finds solace in Mercedes, who becomes her surrogate mother Thormann: , As an eyewitness, Ofelia testifies to what she sees and experiences as a Republican child under Francoism, including what she sees and experiences in the fairytale world. In doing so, Ofelia refuses to allow Vidal and the Faun to determine her and her life in terms of violence and victimization.

At the same time, her final choice of nonviolence differentiates her from Mercedes, and therefore from the kind of resistance the latter represents. By distancing Ofelia from the violence of both the fairytale world and the historical world of Francoism and anti-Francoist resistance, the film blurs the Manichean binaries of fantasy vs history, good vs evil and challenges viewers to rethink their own implication in the scenes of violence. It is precisely such a rejection of violence that the film encourages viewers to reflect upon in its closing scene.

Conclusion: The Return In its closing scene, the film returns to the title sequence to show Ofelia lying on the ground, her face looking at the viewer, and with the blood running this time naturally from her nose, while Mercedes kneels next to her humming a lullaby. A voice commands Ofelia to rise, and as she comes to life, a blinding golden light occupies the entire screen.

Once viewers recover their sight, Ofelia is seen standing in a spacious and sumptuous hall where her mother Carmen, her newborn in her arms, and her father, are all alive and well sitting on golden thrones. It was the last task. A large crowd surrounds them and applauds their reunion. The camera then cuts to an image of Mercedes crying over her dead body.

And that she reigned with justice and a kind heart for many centuries. Visible only to those that know where to look. The closing sequence brings back the three cinematic devices of the opening title sequence narrative reversal, direct address, and voice-over , reframing the scene of violence in such a way that opens up a space for viewers to rethink their position as witnesses.

By merging past and future, fantasy and reality, the film withdraws from viewers the senses of causality, moral certainty, and closure of the given normative world. References Ajuria-Ibarra, Enrique Anonymous, Frames of War. When is Life Grievable?

Cochrane, Kira Friday 27, April Cooper, Sarah Selfless Cinema? Ethics and French Documentary, Oxford, Legenda. Davis, Cindy November 28, Delage, Christian The Scene of the Mass Crime. Screenplay in English, Picture House. The Memory of Judgment. Edwards, Kim Hanley, Jane Hodgen, Jacob M. Hubner, Laura Kozloff, Sarah Lapolla Swier Patricia Fall Levinas, Emmanuel Dialogues avec Philippe Nemo. Paris: Fayard. Luckhurst, Roger Metz, Christian Minkkinen, Panu Oliver, Kelly Orme, Jennifer Pheasant-Kelly, Frances Picart, Caroline Joan S.

Preston, Paul a. Graham and J. Labanyi eds Spanish Cultural Studies: an Introduction. Richards, Michael Saxton, Libby Scarry, Elaine The Body in Pain. Serrano, Secundino Maquis: Historia de la guerrilla antifranquista, Madrid, Temas de Hoy. Sherwin, Richard Description Table of Content PDF The essays in this volume re-examine two major medieval turning points in the relationship between rich and poor: the revolution in charity of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the era of late medieval crises when the vulnerability of the poor increased dramatically and charitable generosity often declined.

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