Versions of Pygmalion
By (author) J. Hillis Miller
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Versions of Pygmalion by J. Hillis Miller
Book DescriptionThe literary school called deconstruction has long been dogged by the charge that it is unprincipled, its doors closed to the larger world of moral and social concern. J. Hillis Miller, one of America s leading teacher-critics, sets the record straight by looking into a series of fictions that allow him to show that ethics has always been at the heart of deconstructive literary criticism. Miller proves his point not by assertion but by doing deconstruction is here in the hands of a master teacher.Miller s controlling image is Ovid s Pygmalion, who made a statue that came alive and whose descendants (the incestuous Myrrha, the bloodied Adonis) then had to bear the effects of what he did. All storytellers can be seen as Pygmalions, creating characters (personification) who must then act, choose, and evaluate (what Miller calls the ethics of narration ). If storytellers must be held accountable for what they create, then so must critics or teachers who have their own stories to tell when they write or discuss stories. If the choices are heavy, they are also, Miller wryly points out, happily unpredictable.The teacher s first ethical act is the choice of what to teach, and Miller chooses his texts boldly. As an active reader, the kind demanded by deconstruction, Miller refashions each story, another ethical act, an intervention that may have social, political, and historical consequences. He then looks beyond text and critical theory to ask whether writing literature, reading it, teaching it, or writing about it makes anything happen in the real world of material history."
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674934856
(235mm x 155mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 30-Apr-1990
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author J. Hillis Miller
Reading for Our Time, Paperback (March 2012)
A masterclass in attentive reading offering brilliant insights into two of George Eliot's novels
Theory and the Disappearing Future, Hardback (November 2011)
Paul de Man is often associated with an era of 'high theory'; an era it is argued may now be coming to a close. This text, written by three leading contemporary scholars, includes a previously unpublished text by de Man of his handwritten notes for a lecture on Walter Benjamin.
Conflagration of Community, Paperback (August 2011)
Challenges Theodor Adorno's famous statement about aesthetic production after the Holocaust, arguing for the possibility of literature to bear witness to extreme collective and personal experiences. This title considers how novels about the Holocaust relate to fictions written before and after it.
Medium is the Maker, Paperback (July 2009)» View all books by J. Hillis Miller
Helps you understand the nexus between the literary world and contemporary communication (iPhone et al) in its different facets.
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