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Literature as ConductSpeech Acts in Henry James$
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J. Hillis Miller

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225378

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225378.001.0001

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History, Narrative, Responsibility: “The Aspern Papers”

History, Narrative, Responsibility: “The Aspern Papers”

(p.12) Chapter 1 History, Narrative, Responsibility: “The Aspern Papers”
Literature as Conduct

J. Hillis Miller

Fordham University Press

This chapter analyzes the historical narratives in Henry James's The Aspern Papers using the speech act theory. It examines the association between the history and narrative in this work and suggests that the questions about responsibility in fiction invoke performative rather than constative uses of language. This chapter also reveals that the figure of the locus standi is present in The Aspern Papers and that biographical knowledge forms an indepensable ground for measuring literature's value.

Keywords:   The Aspern Papers, speech act theory, Henry James, literary analysis, fiction

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