Educative Friendship – A Personal Note

In 1992, when I started my doctorate research in the interdisciplinary field of Law and Literature, The Legal Imagination was one of the first books I read. To European eyes, it was a most unusual book since in continental legal theory in those days, the Anglo-analytical tradition was predominant, and French deconstruction had for some time been the up-and coming stream. Fascinated as I became with Professor White’s works, I decided to try to get in contact with him in order to ask him about the genesis of his ideas. So much for the dangers of the intentional fallacy Whimsatt and Beardsley warned us against! My supervisor agreed wholeheartedly when I told him about my project, though, with hindsight, probably because he thought the whole enterprise preposterous. After all, from our European perspective then, it would be outrageous to suppose that any famous American professor, and one of the founders of an expanding movement at that, would ever grace such a request with an answer. Nevertheless, write I did, and to my surprise I received a reply, saying, in a letter of September 8, 1992, “It is a great honor to me that you have such an interest in my work.” I was elated!