In this rich and illuminating book, the celebrated literary critic J. Hillis Miller turns to a crucial topic in visual culture: that of the relationship between word and image in paintings, prints, illustrated novels and other forms of art and literature. Mark Twain, John Ruskin, Henry James and Walter Benjamin are among the writers and thinkers whose challenging comments the author engages for his own examination of text and image, which includes Hans Holbein's woodcuts, Phiz's illustrations to Dickens' novels and Turner's exploration of the sight and power of the sun in his sublime later paintings. According to J. Millis Miller, forms of art and literature in which words and pictures are combined contain a power that necessarily alters the world we perceive, rather than merely supplying reflections of it. This conviction is embedded in a larger argument that concerns the direction cultural studies must take if they are to avoid reinforcing the social and political hegemonies they seek to challenge.
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J. Hillis Miller is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Irvine. His books include The Ethics of Reading (1986) and Hawthorne and History (1991).
Illustration Pb by J. Hillis Miller
J. Hillis Miller
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