Debates rage over what kind of literature we should read, what is good and bad literature, and whether in the global, digital age, literature even has a future. But what exactly is literature? Why should we read literature? How do we read literature? These are some of the important questions J. Hillis Miller answers in this beautifully written and passionate book. He begins by asking what literature is, arguing that the answer lies in literature's ability to create an imaginary world simply with words. On Literature also asks the crucial question of why literature has such authority over us. Returning to Plato, Aristotle and the Bible, Miller argues we should continue to read literature because it is part of our basic human need to create imaginary worlds and to have stories. Above all, On Literature is a plea that we continue to read and care about literature.
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Alice already alternative animals appearance assumptions becomes beginning believe Blanchot character claim create critical culture daydream death Derrida dream encounter English essay example existence experience father fiction figure force German give given hand happen human imaginary imagination imitation island James James's kind language learned least less literary living magic material matter means narrator natural never nevertheless novel object once opening original passage performative perhaps person play pleasure poem poetry present pure question Read Literature reader real world refer response Robinson Crusoe says Secret seems seen sense sentence Sirens social someone song speak speech story strange studies Swiss Family Robinson taken tale tell theory things translation Trollope Trollope's true truth turn universal violence virtual reality vision Western whole words writing written
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