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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Margarida Cadima. A host is a host. Discuss, in the light of this quotation and with reference to the relation between T.

The melancholy and sombre rhapsody aims at describing the aridity and impotence of modern civilization, in a series of sometimes realistic and sometimes mythological episodes, whose perspectives impinge on each other with an indescribable total effect. The cycle of poems consists of lines, but actually it contains more than a packed novel of as many pages.

The Waste Land now lies a quarter of a century back in time, but unfortunately it has proved that its catastrophic visions still have undiminished actuality in the shadow of the atomic age. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for literature, and more than 90 years after The Waste Land was written, this poem is still widely read and appreciated. The lines that Eliot wrote, the ones he quotes and the ones that he appropriated from other authors and gave new meaning to: they all still resonate with readers today.

He could have easily been thinking of T. A text is a text. The reader will incorporate the text into his or her own knowledge. But the text will always be a text. And the reader will always be a reader.

It has no meaning without the counterpart. But the author learned to write by reading texts by other authors. The texts the author writes are inevitably influenced by other texts and their references. It is just that depending on the text, these references are less evident than others. But they are always present within the text, whether the author quoted them or not. This goes back to the idea that if the reader of texts becomes an author, then the texts they write are already contaminated by the parasite of the texts they read, before they even write them.

Deconstruction is an investigation of what is implied by this in-herence of figure, concept, and narrative in one another. He defends that it is the most suitable, complete way of interpreting a text, because it offers more possibilities of meaning than the univocal reading.

However, deconstruction is parasitical to the univocal reading. Deconstruction serves the double purpose of making sense of the text, but also of making sense of the criticism in light of the specific text. Moreover, Shelley needs the external references within his own poem in order to give it the meaning he desires. For example Shelley borrows from Dante throughout his poem. He had a convoluted relationship with the British romantic poet. Similarly to The Triumph of Life, the intertextuality in The Waste Land is abundant and the plurality of sources from which Eliot gleans references is vast.

In both cases, using this external reference gives more force to the doomed and hopeless tone both poems possess. In fact, the poet quotes Dante before The Waste Land itself begins.

He is not the supreme poet, nor is he the first of poets. He is a successor of Dante and the other writers he quotes; he is a poet because he read the texts he borrows from in his poem. In doing so, he addresses the discontinuity of the Western literary tradition in the modern era, but also transforms and strengthens textual remnants that memorialize it.

Eliot: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide 40 Eliot is very aware that there is very important literary history that preceded him and he does not wish it to be forgotten. In including external references in his poem, he adapts them to his own text and to the time he lived in, and certifies that these texts will not be forgotten, not within his text and not for future generations to come.

Dante is one of these writers, that Eliot does not wish to be forgotten. He borrows his words often throughout the poem, but does not always credit him in his notes. In fact, these notes to the reader of The Waste Land tend to be more confounding than helpful.

Unlike other quotes in The Waste Land, Eliot chose to translate this passage to English and makes no note of its appropriation in his notes. However, he does give it a different meaning by including it as a description of Londoners about their daily lives. We are to pay attention to the words themselves and what they mean to the speaker, not to the incomprehensible lyrical beauty of a foreign language.

The characters are alive, but dead inside, and only the speaker of the poem can see this; they are dead like the world they live in. Given the many commas in this line, the reader too will be breathing through short and infrequent sighs, like those of the weary people going about their daily lives. This line allows the reader to identify with the anonymous characters in The Waste Land, we read the poem with their same weariness.

Furthermore, it gives a theatrical dimension to The Waste Land; Eliot wrote the poem in order for it to be read aloud, by readers. And the two should not be confused. The Waste Land is about fragmentation, and its multiplicity.

Eliot includes multiple external references; the lines in the poem have multiple interpretations. Also, there are multiple characters in the poem, carrying out multiple actions.

An act of self-surrender has expanded the private mind of the poet into the universal sphere of the mind of Europe. Hillis Miller offers an art metaphor to explicate this. Who is to say that the animal is really there? He suggests that the reader is familiar with the fragmentary format Eliot offers in The Waste Land, it is just more sophisticated than the connect the dots puzzle from our childhood.

In the end, the reader cannot be certain of whether their interpretation is appropriate to the text, which makes the reading of The Waste Land a very personal reading experience. Arguably every line in The Waste Land, either borrowed, quoted or written by Eliot takes meaning beyond the page. With the intertextual references, this is simpler. Margarida Cadima 12 Eliot takes the external reference, adapts it to his text, thus also adapting the meaning of the said reference to fit his own text.

But when Eliot is not using external references, the reader of The Waste Land is aware that the lines he writes have a meaning that goes past the text. At this point it is useful to turn to hermeneutic loop in reading the poem, in order to understand the poem. Interpretation can never lead to absolute truth or definitive conclusions, and therefore, in a special sense, it is usually experienced as finally falling short in some way.

After considering the thought, the reader often decides that it is insufficient or aesthetically less desirable than the initial textual fact. As a result, the interpretation dissolves, and the original item in the poem returns to the center of focus. This reasoning can be applied in many different places throughout the Spears Brooker and Bentley demonstrate it, by taking the opening line to T. In this process of interpretation, we automatically push the text aside.

Because no answers, or answers that do not fit the question being asked by the lines in the poem, the reader returns to the original poem. But it is a return with a difference, a difference made by the process of trying to interpret. By looking at the example the author provides us with and applying the principle to another example, it was interesting to see how writers adapt external references to fit their texts.

Ultimately, we turn to literature to search for meaning. Margarida Cadima 15 Bibliography Arditi, Neil. Bloom, Harold. New York: HarperCollins, Eliot: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House, Bradbrook, M.

Ian Scott-Kilvert. Burnt Mill, Harlow: Longman Group, Davidson, Harriet. Eliot, T. The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism. The Waste Land and Other Poems. Helen Vendler. New York: Signet Classic, Hillis Miller, J. David Lodge and Nigel Wood. Harlow: Longman, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, Nevo, Ruth. Nobel Media AB Amherst: University of Massachusetts, Claes Schaar and Jan Svartvik.

Lund: CWK Gleerup, Related Papers. By Aaron D Graham. An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. By Ahmed M.


Hillis Miller’s Concept of Critic as Host

John Hillis Miller is an American literary critic who was initially associated with the Geneva Group of critics and later, with the Yale School and Deconstruction. He was a president of the Modern Language Association in He was an important figure in connecting North American Criticism with continental philosophical thought. He has also been an important person in humanities and literature scholar specializing in Victorian and Modernist Literature, with a keen interest in the ethics of reading and reading as a cultural act. It is considered as a reply to M. Abrams presented his paper at a session of the Modern Language Association in December


J. Hillis Miller

The prominent Yale critic, J. Abrams The Deconstructive Angel , which he presented at a session of the Modern Language-Association in December , criticizing deconstruction and the methods of Miller. In his essay Abrams had argued that there is a fixed univocal meaning for a text and if we use deconstructive strategies History will become an impossibility. Miller replied that univocal and determinate meaning is an impossibility as history also is. Miller begins the essay with a crucial question: when a text contains a citation from another text, is it like a parasite in the main text or is it the main text that surrounds and strangles the citation? Many people tend to see the deconstructionist reading as a parasite on its host, the univocal reading. Miller argues that deconstructionist reading is an essential and thoroughly naturalized ingredient in every reading, such that we cannot identify its presence.


J.H.Miller’s The Critic as Host

Joseph Hillis Miller Jr. Hillis Miller was born in Newport News, Virginia. He is the son of J. Hillis Miller Sr.


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