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The J. Hillis Miller Reader

Edited by Julian Wolfreys

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This anthology represents the diversity, inventiveness, and intellectual energy of J. Hillis Miller, the single most significant North American literary critic of the twentieth century. First published in the 1950s, Miller has continued to make invaluable contributions to our understanding of the practice and theory of literary criticism, the ethics and responsibilities of teaching and reading, and the role of literature in the modern world. He has also led the way for successive generations of scholars and students in demonstrating the necessity of comprehending the relationship between philosophy and literature.

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J. Hillis Miller and Julian Wolfreys
Introduction: J or, aphorism's other
Julian Wolfreys
I The Ethics of Reading
1. The Critic as Host
2. The Ethics of Narration
3. The Ethics of Reading
4. Reading Telling: Kant
Miller's Tale
Derek Attridge
To Read a Picture
Mieke Bal
Miller's Crossing (under erasure)
Juliet Flower MacCannell
II Victorian Interests
5. Emily Brontë
6. The Creation of the Self in Gerard Manley Hopkins
7. Hardy
The Critic as Orpheus
Pamela K. Gilbert
Hillis Among the Victorians
James R. Kincaid
III Twentieth-Century Occasions
8. Mrs Dalloway: Repetition as the Raising of the Dead
9. Franz Kafka and the Metaphysics of Alienation
10. Wallace Stevens' Poetry of Being
'Poised in their irreconciliation': Literary Loss and Recovery in J. Hillis
Miller's Twentieth-Century Occasions
Thomas Albrecht
'When the Gods Dissolve like Clouds:' Modernism, Modernity, and the
Space of Literature
Arkady Plotnitsky
Ghostly Preoccupations
Nicholas Royle
IV Practice and Theory
11. Line
12. How to Read Literature
13. The Problematic of Ending in Narrative
14. The Function of Literary Theory at the Present Time
15. What is Iterability?
16. 'Je t'aime'
17. A Profession of Faith
'How About a Game of Tennis?'
Megan Becker-Leckrone
Response to J. Hillis Miller, 'A Profession of Faith'
Rachel Bowlby
Hillis Miller: Flâneur of the Archive
Tom Cohen
V Pedagogical and Political Commitments
18. Paul de Man's Wartime Writings
19. President's Column
20. The Imperative to Teach
21. Politicizing Art: What are Cultural Studies?
22. Literary Study in the Transnational University
(c)(s)i(gh)ting the ungovernable translation
John P. Leavey, Jr.
J. Hillis Miller: in-print and on-line
Barbara L. Cohen
Why Literature? An interview with J. Hillis Miller
Works Cited
Bibliography of Works by J. Hillis Miller

About the Author

Julian Wolfeys is Professor of English Literature at the University of Portsmouth, where he is also Director of the Centre for Studies in LIterature. He is author and editor of more than 40 books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature and literary theory. Most recently he has published Dickens’s London and The Derrida Wordbook, both with Edinburgh University Press. He recently published his first novel, Silent Music.


This book … works as a good introduction to Miller in general and includes some of his finest criticism on 'great' Victorian writers.