1st Edition

J. Hillis Miller and the Play of Literature

By Jonathan Locke Hart Copyright 2024

    This is the first book to discuss the full sweep of the work of J. Hillis Miller, from his earliest writing in the 1950s to those near the time of his death in February 2021, across the genres of his criticism and theory—poetry, fiction, drama, fiction, non-fiction. The book examines Miller’s preference for close and careful reading of individual literary and critical works over abstract theory. The study will discuss the last member of the so-called Yale School of deconstruction to die but will see him as a reader and lover of literature, someone interested in Georges Poulet and phenomenology and in Jacques Derrida and deconstruction. Miller was concerned about many aspects of literature and life, including the pleasure of reading and writing and in climate change, which he saw as the crisis of our time. Miller was well known in humanities and literature worldwide as one of the greatest of modern critics and theorists.


    1. Introduction:  J. Hillis Miller and the Play of Literature    


    2. Literature


    3. Theory


    4. Poetry


    5. Poetry, Poetics and Reading: A Dialogue


    6. Fiction


    7. Narrative


    8. Deconstruction and Beyond


    9. Art, Culture, Media and the World


    10. Innocence and Experience


    11. Literature, Philosophy, History  and Ecology


    12. Conclusion




    Jonathan Locke Hart received his PhD in English from the University of Toronto and a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge. Dr Hart is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Member of Academia Europea, and is Chair Professor, the School of Translation Studies and Director, International Cooperation Centre for Cross-Cultural Studies and Digital Humanities, Shandong University. He is also Fellow, Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria College, University of Toronto; Associate, Harvard University Herbaria; Senior Fellow, Abigail Adams Institute; and Life Member, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. In recent years, he was Core Faculty, Comparative Literature, Western University and Chair Professor of the School of Foreign Languages and Director of the Centre for Creative Writing, Literary Culture and Translation, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He has written more than 20 books and edited others and contributed book chapters. A winner of many international awards, including two Fulbrights to Harvard, and having served on national and international committees, including Fulbright and Killam, Dr Hart has written over 100 articles and essays and has held visiting appointments at Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton, the Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Paris III), Leiden, UC Irvine and elsewhere and has given classes, talks, readings and lectures internationally.