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6 - The Illusion of Force and Speed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2012

Katy Masuga
Affiliation:
University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle
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Summary

To err is probably this: to go outside the space of the encounter.

— Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation

THROUGHOUT HIS TEXTS, Miller often writes of movement: literally, figuratively, metaphorically. In a literal sense, the narrator is constantly making use of various modes of transportation, across space and in time. Miller's texts themselves — often filled with diatribes, monologues, racing catalogue descriptions, and other allusions that evoke a sense of movement and the passage of time — seem to be in motion despite their physically static presence on the page. His passages on time and motion are always embedded in a context that extends their figural and metaphorical functions, and they create a sense of velocity through the literal allusions to movement but also through their poetic rhythm and character.

Movement in the text for Miller — in its unending presence, its perpetual flight into something beyond — reflects the overarching mood of his writing, which repeatedly affirms the claim that art, or writing, is not an avenue into an externalized life nor a final statement or fulfillment of a fragmented moment in the world. It is rather an appeal to the emancipation of the imagination from such rubrics that unsuccessfully attempt to use writing as a means towards a certain, intangible and unattainable end. It is a Deleuzian devenir: a necessary constant, uninterrupted, unending becoming. Writing for Miller is a mode for viewing the world without conceptualizing it as something to be settled but something to be left unfettered and unbound.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

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  • The Illusion of Force and Speed
  • Katy Masuga, University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle
  • Book: The Secret Violence of Henry Miller
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781571137647.007
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  • The Illusion of Force and Speed
  • Katy Masuga, University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle
  • Book: The Secret Violence of Henry Miller
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781571137647.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Illusion of Force and Speed
  • Katy Masuga, University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle
  • Book: The Secret Violence of Henry Miller
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781571137647.007
Available formats
×