Law Text Culture


When I first delivered this paper at the symposium to honour Penny’s life and work, I began by declaring my intention to quote her often, to ensure that she would be heard at the event, as she had been heard at so many others previously. As I said at the time, I did this because I knew Penny would have been very cross if she was not allowed to speak. In this, the written version of that paper, I still intend to quote her often and for the same reasons but I also intend to do so because I believe that what she had to say matters. It intervened, it changed things, it challenged the taken for granted – and it still does. I spent a lot of time re-reading Penny’s words in preparation for the symposium, and like the good structuralist that I always was, I found a whole series of patterns, strategies and theoretical narratives in what I read. I had always known they were there but the process of re-membering, re-working and re-writing, made them much more explicit than they had been in the reality and practice of working with her. I also began to see patterns and strategies I had not recognised at the time and to re-cover the sheer fun and excitement, as well as the absolute seriousness, of what working with her had been like.