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The Conflagration of CommunityFiction before and after Auschwitz$
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J. Hillis Miller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226527215

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226527239.001.0001

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Nancy contra Stevens

Nancy contra Stevens

(p.3) 1 Nancy contra Stevens
The Conflagration of Community

J. Hillis Miller

University of Chicago Press

The meaning of the word “community” has differed and evolved throughout the different philosophical and theoretical works written about it. In modern times, community has undergone great changes—its dissolution, dislocation, or conflagration. “Dissolution” implies that something once whole was destroyed or disintegrated. “Dislocation” implies that modern communities have been displaced—either set outside or beside themselves. “Conflagration” suggests that the whole community has not only been dissolved but has also been consumed—an allusion intended by Jean-Luc Nancy to the Holocaust. Wallace Stevens “The Auroras of Autumn” is studied and cited by the chapter as a work which occupies an important piece in this study. This chapter aims to build upon the recent theoretical investigations of community to build a collection of tentative hypotheses for studying community’s conflagration in fiction before and after Auschwitz.

Keywords:   community, dissolution, dislocation, conflagration, Jean-Luc Nancy, Holocaust, Wallace Stevens, The Auroras of Autumn, Auschwitz

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