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English Faculty Colloquium with Professors Kurt Fosso and Jerry Harp

December 02, 2008

J. Hillis Miller’s Virtual Reality of Reading

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

3:30pm Miller Center for the Humanities, Room 102

In his recent book, ON LITERATURE (2002), J. Hillis Miller recounts his curious intuition, active in him since he was a young reader, that literary works precede their being written down; his perception or sense is that the text pre-exists in some Platonic realm. This idea is a curious one coming from one of our “arch-deconstructionist” critics, one of the leaders of a “movement” much devoted to critiquing the traditional metaphysics of presence typified by Plato’s doctrine of Forms. In what sense might this Platonic realm or script “exist” for a deconstructonist like Miller? Our presentation will include several possible answers along with examples of their relevance to the reading and meaning of literary texts.