A Flash of Vance
Jack Vance, one of my favorite authors, has an unusual take on the
law. In fact, he has an unusual take on human—and
occasionally on alien—civilization.
That's why he's one of my favorite authors. He also has a
remarkable facility for people and place names, and his
descriptions of foreign (OK, non-existent) locales is nonpareil.
| Among his works, immortalized by the
Vance Integral Edition,
is the "Demon Prince" series, and in "The Face," part of that
series, one finds this vignette:
"Sometimes regarded as
over-abstract and over-rigorous, Benchmaster Dalt is by no means
a dreamy-eyed theorist; to the contrary he insists upon full
etiquette. Court officials consider him a stern
"Yes, yes, muttered the Chief Clerk. I've heard much the
same story, from one source or another."
"Smarten up your bailiffs,"
said Addels. "Provide your stentor the best throat
Benchmaster Dalt is coming to enliven your court. He
watches like an eagle. If someone scamps his duty, he's
flayed to the bone."
Somehow, this little Wall Street Journal excerpt reminded me
of Benchmaster Dalt and his scheme to unmask Lens Larque, one of
the Demon Princes.
more such serious journalism in this country and our defamation
law should encourage rather than discourage it," one of the [Law
Lords] Baroness Brenda Hale, wrote in her opinion.
ways it's the coming of age of press freedom in the U.K" said
Dan Tench, a partner in Olswang Solicitors..."
OK, maybe you see it, maybe not. Maybe you need to read more
Vance, or I, less.