Abstract

In two recent works of Holocaust literature that harken back to his earliest fiction, Arthur Miller explores ways of reading the text of the Jewish body—already always marked and stigmatized as Other—that resist further objectification and see beyond difference to empathetic identification. In doing so, he poses the question of whether, in order to live ethically, one must somehow necessarily (re)construct the self as Other. In Homely Girl, A Life, only when Janice is seen "feelingly" by her blind husband Charles can she be liberated and made whole, while in Broken Glass, seeing traumatic photographs of the victims of Kristallnacht causes a "felt" paralysis in Sylvia. By looking at Miller's work through the lens of Maurice Blanchot's and Emmanuel Levinas's ethical notions of "being-for" and "responsibility-to-the-other," Miller's authorial role as witness and his imperative that the reader and audience become witness as well are brought into sharper focus.

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 14-21
Launched on MUSE
2004-07-09
Open Access
No
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