Journal of Chaohu University ›› 2023, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 96-102.doi: 10.12152/j.issn.1672-2868.2023.04.012

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The Disappearance of Limits: On the Nonfiction and Fiction from the Perspective of Hillis Miller's Deconstruction

ZHANG Li-yao:College of Chinese Language and Literature, Northwest Normal University   

  1. College of Chinese Language and Literature, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou Gansu 730000
  • Received:2023-06-05 Online:2023-07-25 Published:2024-01-09

Abstract: The key to the establishment of non-fiction literature lies in the aspect that nonfiction writers recognize that the author's words can reproduce reality, and readers can understand the reality that the author reproduces with words, which are the two limits that distinguish nonfiction from fiction. In The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz, Miller placed four works in genre controversy, Schindler's List, Black Dogs, MAUS: A Survivor's Tale, and Sorstalanság into the category of fiction, deliberately ignoring the opposition between the two genres and erasing the limits between them. Influenced by Derrida, Miller deconstructed limits for the following reasons: he believed that the irreproducibility of nonfiction creation objects and the existence of authors' subjectivity will lead to great paradoxes within nonfiction, and readers' "non-cognizability" reading behavior will make it difficult for literary works to be regarded as images of the social and material world. However, Miller did not deny the possibility that literature bears witness to the Holocaust. Although he rejected constative representation, he encouraged writers to bear witness to the Holocaust in the performative works using literary techniques, so as to reduce readers' reluctance to face the Holocaust directly and solve the problem of interrogation regarding concentration camps when using declarative discourse.

Key words: J. Hillis Miller, deconstruction, nonfiction, fiction

CLC Number: 

  • I024