News & Publications
9/25: Lecture at St. John’s on Love and Law in “Don Quijiote”
FOR RELEASE: September 9, 2009
CONTACT: Patricia Dempsey, 410-626-2539
What is the relationship between love and law? A noted international attorney offers a legal perspective in his lecture “Love, Romance, and Law in ‘Don Quijiote’” at St. John’s College. Pedro Martinez-Fraga, an alumnus of the college, will deliver his lecture at 8:15 p.m. Friday, September 25. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium.
Martinez-Fraga will explore Cervantes’s novel, which was published in the early 17th century, with some attention to its historical context, particularly from a legal perspective. “This legal perspective provides interesting insights into the relationship between love and law as well as the unique status that Don Quijiote represents as the first fugitive from justice in non-Greek or Roman literary history,” says Martinez-Fraga. “Don Quijiote is a transformative figure who asks the reader to reflect on a world incapable of reconciling positive law–the law of man, judges and legislators–and natural law–the law of God.”
The lecture focuses closely on Part 1, Chapter 22, and the episode of the galley slaves. According to Martinez-Fraga, many of the characters found in the first part of Don Quijiote are best understood when examined in the context of the legal conflicts that their conducts caused. “Fugitive, Christ figure, judge, lover, and knight all blend to incorporate the unbridled forces of life that cannot be reduced into a new reason ‘that has no reason,’” says Martinez-Fraga.
Martinez-Fraga will also consider how love must be reconciled with the stringent standards of uniformity that define man-made law. “Don Quijiote is but a teacher who teaches the willing reader to embrace both reason and passion in ways that are reconcilable,” says Martinez-Fraga.
Martinez-Fraga graduated from St. John’s in 1984 and is currently Partner and Chair of International Dispute Resolution for South Florida and Latin America at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, in Miami, Fla. He has a juris doctor from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Martinez-Fraga is a Magister in private and public international law at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Full Visiting Professor Universidad de Navarra, Honorary Professor of Law at Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Miami School of law, author of four books and more than fifty peer-reviewed articles on private and public international law. He currently represents sovereigns in international disputes. His representations include lead U.S. counsel on behalf of the Republic of Chile in the case against former Chilean President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and Senator pour vie Augusto Pinochet.