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Literature as Conduct – Speech Acts in Henry James - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Literature as Conduct: Speech Acts in Henry James

J. Hillis Miller


The work of a master critic writing at the peak of his powers, this book draws on speech act theory, as it originated with J. L. Austin and was further developed by Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida, to investigate the many dimensions of doing things with words in James's fiction. Three modes of speech act occur in James's novels. First, James's writing of his fictions is performative. He puts on paper words that have the power to raise in the reader the phantoms of imaginary persons. Second, James's writing does things with words that do other thi ... More

Keywords: J. L. Austin, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, performative, fiction, judgment, action, speech acts

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780823225378
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011 DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823225378.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. Hillis Miller, author
Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine