Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Just WordsLillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and the Failure of Public Conversation in America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Alan Ackerman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167122

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167122.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use (for details see www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 November 2018

Criticism versus Libel

Criticism versus Libel

(p.250) V Criticism versus Libel
Just Words

Alan Ackerman

Yale University Press

This chapter examines distinctions and connections between defamation and literary criticism. It discusses how questions about deliberate falsehood and damaged reputations alone prove difficult to answer not because it is hard, if not impossible, to pinpoint the author's intentions, but because the intention of the utterance is structurally inseparable from how it is received. The meaning of a defamatory statement is determined from the point of view of the reader. So, in cases of libel, rather than focusing exclusively on the text or attempting to parse the intentions of the author, the Court reads the statement in the way it would have been read by the average person. Under the Court's doctrine, a defendant can be held responsible only if the statement is false and defamatory, the defendant had the requisite state of mind, and it has the requisite effect upon the reader.

Keywords:   defamation, falsehood, damaged reputations

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.